Babylon the Great DESCRIBED.

The City of Confusion.

In every part whereof Antichrist Reigns.

Which knoweth not the order and unity of the spirit, but striveth to set up an order and uniformity according to the wisdom of the flesh, in all her Territories a [...]d Dominions.

Her SINS, Her JƲDGEMENTS.

With some plain Queries further to discover her, And some considerations to help out of her Suburbs, that her inward building may lye the more open to the breath and spirit of the Lord, from which it is to receiv its consumption and overthrow.

Also, An Exhortation to the Powers of the Earth.

By Isaac Penington, the younger.

That which is far of, and exceeding deep, who can sind out? I and mine heart compassed to know, and to search, and to seck out wisdom, and the rea­son, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishnes and madness. And I find more bitter then death, the woman whose heart is snares and nets, her hands bands. He that is good before God, shall escape from her, but the sin­ner shall be taken by her,
Eccles. 7. 24, 25, 26.
He that is born of the pure immortal seed, and lives in the annointing, escapes the golden cup of fornication, and all the painted beds of fornication, and is not defiled with women, Rev. 14. 4. but remains chast to the Bridegroom.

London Printed for Lodowick Lloyd, and are to sold at his Shop in Co [...]nhi [...] next door to the Castle, 1659.

LO this is the City which is built up of, and filled with im­ages, and likenesses of the ways and truths of God, without the life and power.

On her outside ther's the likeness of a Church, the likeness of a Ministry, the likeness of the Ordinances, Du­ties and ways of holiness.

On her inside ther's the likeness of the good knowledge, the likeness of repentance and conversion, the likeness of faith, the likeness of zeal for God, the likeness of love to God and his Saints, the likeness of the Lambs meekness and innocency; the likeness of justification, the likeness of sanctification, the likeness of mortification, the likeness of hope, peace, joy, rest, and satisfaction, &c. but the sub­stance, the truth, the vertue of all these is wanting to her, and she her self is found persecuting that very thing (where it is found in truth) the image whereof she cries up.

This, This is the woman that hath bewitched the whole earth for these many generations, and is still changing her dresses and paints, that she might still bewitch people, and sit as a Queen reigning over their consciences. But blessed be the light which is arisen to discover, and the power which is able to overthrow this stately, this lofty, this migh­ty City, and all that take part with it.

The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth in Sion, and Anti­christ with his City Babylon falleth. Sing praises, sing praises O inhabitant of Sion, to him who subjecteth Babylon (with all her glory) under thy feet.

For he bringeth down them that dwell on high, the lofty City he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground he bringeth it even to the dust. The foot shall tread it down (the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy) Isa. 26. 5, 6.

[...]

The Preface.

THere hath been in me a zeal for God from my childhood, and a most earnest search into the Scriptures (which my soul deeply relished, and my heart honoured and loved, and still doth) for the re­velation of the mind and will of God. Two things did I earnestly search and beg for: The one was, for the discovery of the outward way of worship; The o­ther, for the inward life, vertue and power, which I looked upon the outward, as the proper means to lead me to, At the beginning of the troubles in these Na­tions, there was a lively stirring in me, and an hope that God was bringing forth somewhat; I likewise felt the same stirring in many others, at which my heart was rejoyced, and with which my soul was refreshed; but I found it soon begin to flag and wither, which forced me to retire, and to separate from that, where I found the life and power dying and decaying. In my separation the Lord was with me, my soul remembreth it right wel, and he had regard to the simplicity, ho­nesty, and integrity of my heart, (which he himself bad kindled in me:) And though I felt too soon into a way of Church-fellowship and Ordinances, yet he had regard to me, and pittyed me, and refreshed my life even there. But at length the form overgrew vs, and the sweet and precious life in us began to dye. Then the Lord found out another way to refresh us (namely by a sensible relating of our conditions, and of his dealings with us, and workings in us) which was very sweet and precious at first, but the enemy crept in there also, Out of this state I never made any change, but here the hand of the Lord fel upon me, striking at my very root, breaking all my life in sun­der, and trampling my crown in the dust. Then I be­came a man of sorrows (being stripped of all my life, [Page] faith, hope; joy, comfort in one day) not knowing which way to looke, nor what to desire. Sometimes there were breathings stiring in me, but they were presently judged: Sometimes a little glance of refreshment from a Scripture presented to me, but suddenly taken away, and my death and darknesse increased thereby. Then should I wish, O that I might appear before his throne; for surely my conscience is clear in his sight, and I have not wickedly departed from my God, but was broken in pieces by his hand, even while my soul was earnestly seeking after him. O how my soul did mourn, to see how I was fit to be made a prey to every raven­ing spirit! and many did seek to devour me, but the hand of the Lord was with me, preserving me, though I knew it not. And though I was wholly broken, and de­solate of all that I had called, or could call knowledg (insomuch as that I could not call any thing either good or evil) yet the Lord by a secret instinct, preser­ved me exceedingly out of that which was evil, and kept my heart secretly panting after the fountain & wel-spring of good. Yea when I was at length (through deep despair of ever meeting with God any more in this life) captivated by the world, and betrayed by the love of it (which at last rose up in me, and gai­ned upon me by perswading me, that my present estate and condition did require the free use of it, and the enjoyment of all it could afford) yet the Lord follow­ed me, and often was I visited with secret loathings of the world, and turnings from it, and pantings af­ter the spring of my life: but these were dreaded by me, and suddenly quenched by the evil part, for fear of that misery and unutterable anguish which I had felt hereby, the remembrance whereof was fresh in me.

[Page] In this my courting of the world, and estrangement from the life, the reasoning part (which the Lord hath been long battering, and had laid very low) gathered strength in me; and I began to grow wise a­gain, and able to judge of the things of God, and to hope and wait for some great appearance, wherein at length I might be visited, and meet with that which I so vehemently desired, and stood in such need of. Thereby the enemy deeply deceived me, pleasing me herewith, and keeping me hereby from unity with that, which alone was able to give me the sight of him, when ever he should appear. And in this fleshly wisdome, I judged and despised the true life in others, as weak and low, and not able to bring them to that which I stood in need of, and waited for. Yea the more I considred and reasoned in my mind, and the more I conversed with them (hoping thereby to find some clear ground either of owning or turning from them) the further off still was I, till at length the Lord powerfully touched, and raised up the life in me (which by all these reasonings and consultati­ons, all this while, I slew) and then by degrees (wai­ting upon that) I saw, I felt, I tasted, I handled, as the Lord pleased to open to me here, that which was shut out from me in my narrowest search and closest reasonings. Thus the Jew in me was cast off, and the Gentile called: but who can read this? I am sure the eye of mans religious wisdom cannot.

Hereby my eyes have been opened, and I have seen the fetters, whereby I have been held captive from my life all my dayes: yea many of the streets, and cham­bers of Babylon hath my eye beheld (in the pure life) wherein the Witch dwels which inchanteth from the life: yea I have heard the tongue of the false Pro­phet, [Page] which speaketh so like the true Prophet, as no flesh can discern or distinguish between them: yea I have seen the Dragon in the Temple, worshipped there for God by the strictest sort of Professors. And now in tender bowels, in the true light of life, from the pure movings of the eternal Spirit (as the Lord pleaseth to guid and direct) do I come forth to visit my poor­fellow creatures and captives in Babylon. And what I have seen and known I testifie for the relief of o­thers, that if it be possible (by the mercy & good hand of God) they may escape that misery, wherewith my poor soul hath been overwhelmed, and may come out of that filthy abominable City which God is making desolate; where the pure life, the conquering faith, the suffering love, the purifying hope, the putting off of the body of sin, the putting on the living garment is not, nor cannot be witnessed but men are only drea­ming of these things in Babylon, where all the satis­faction they have, is from the pleasure of their dream; but when they awake they will find leannesse and penury, and nakedness upon their souls.

A Description of Babylon, for the sake of the Daughter of Sion, which at present dwel­leth in the midest thereof.

Now though the world be deaf and blind (even all sorts of worldly professors, from the highest to the lowest) yet open your ears, and hear the joyful sound; open your eyes, and see the City of desolations, and of all the abominations of the earth (both of flesh and Spirit:) and feel in your selves what it is, which is to be led out, and what is to lead you, that your feet may be guided to, and set firm upon Mount Sion, where the life rules over all her enemies.

BABYLON is the spiritual fabrick of iniquity, the My­stical great City of the great King of dark ess, built in imitation of Sion, painted just like Sion, that it might be tae­ken for Sion, and he worshipped there, instead of the true eternall ever-living God and King of Sion.

This is the seat of the man of sin: Where there is a building framed in any heart, or in any society of men like Sion, there he lodges, there he lives, there he sits as God, there he reigns, there he is worshipped, there he is exalted above all that can truly be called God in that heart, or in that society.

1. It is a City, This is a proper parable, to discover the My­stery of iniquity by, in this state, it is just like a City, in its kind it is a City. In a City there are several streets, in the streets hou­ses, in the houses several rooms, to which familyes and persons appertain, and to all these there are Laws and Governments. Thus it is here, there are many streets in this City Babylon, many hou­ses in every street, many rooms in every house: and the houses and rooms have their several familyes and persons appertaining to them, and they have their Laws and Governments, their know­ledge of God and Christ, their order, their worship, their disci­pline in which they walke, and by which they order themselves in their several services, places, offices, and imployments under the King of Babylon.

2. It is a spirituall or mysticall City, It is not an outward buil­ding of earthly materials, but an inward building of inward ma­terials. [Page 2] As the outward Sion, the outward Jerusalem is passed away in it's use and service: so the outward Babylon is out of date too. (Ye need not look so far for it.) And as God hath built up an inward City, a spiritual building: so hath the King of darkness likewise. (He could never have tempted from the City of the living God, from the City of the mystery of life, but by the City of the mistery of deceit.) And as God builds his City of hewen stones, of squared stones, of living stones: so also hath the King of darkness his hewings, his squarings, his preparations, his qualifications for his buildings. If the light break forth, and make it appear too grosse to have the whole Nation a Church, or to admit an whole Parish to Ordinances, he will gather a Church out of the Nation, and select some of his choicer stones out of the Parish; yea he may grasp in some of the stones of the true Tem­ple, if they come within his reach and circle, that is, if they look abroad, if they step forth, and keep not close to the anointing with­in, which is the great and only Ordinance of the Saints preserva­tion from Antichrists power: for if they step forth, but so much as into a prayer against Antichrist, out of this; they are caught in his snare, and are serving him in that very prayer, which they may seem with great earnestness and zeale to put up against him.

3. It is a great City, an overspreading City, a City that over­spreads the earth. As Sion was a vast City, a City that did over­spread the Nations: How did the faith of the Gospel over-run the world in the Apostles dayes! so this City hath also over-run the world. Indeed it hath taken up the whole Territories and Dominions of the other City (and hath enlarged it self further) and Sion hath been laid in the dust, and trodden under foot. And though many Witnesses, Prophets, and Martyrs have mourned over her, yet none have been able to raise up the Tabernacle of David which hath fallen down, nor to recover Sion to this day, but Babylon hath had the power over her. Look with the true eye, and behold how all Nations, Kindreds, Tongues, and Lan­guages have been drunk with some or other of the mixtures of this false womans cup (some of them over, and over, and over again) and have been Inhabitants of this City crying her up (though not all in her grosse habit, but some in her more refined shapes and transformings) for the true Church, for Sion, whereas [Page 3] alas, she hath only Sions dresse, Sions shape, Sions outward gar­ment (which is the likeness wherein she lies in wait to deceive) but not Sions spirit.

4. It is a City of iniquity, of hidden iniquity. That which is hid in this City, it is not the life, it is not the righteousness, the holiness of the Saints; but iniquity, sin, transgression of the life: Look into any of the streets of Babylon, into any of the houses, any of the rooms, any of the chambers of darkness: there's sin there, there's unrighteousnes there, there's not one cleansed heart to be found there, not one pure eye to behold the God of life is to be found there; but in every heart sin in a mistery, iniquity in a mistery, unrighteousness in a mistery. They seem to be for God and Christ, and to be cleansed by them, but uncleaness lodges in them, and sin rules in them against God, and against his Christ in a mistery, which their eye cannot see; and so must needs mis­take their state. Yet this is the true state of Babylon in all the parcels of it, it is the unclean City, where purity of heart and life cannot be known, but though it be washed and transformed never so often outwardly, yet still it remains inwardly polluted, that which defileth keeping possession and dominion there in a mistery. The living water, the living blood runs not in any of the streets of this City, so that there can be no true cleansing there. Nay, such strangers are the choicest Inhabitants of Baby­lon to the Fountain of life in Sion, to the river that cleanseth and healeth, that they cannot so much as beleeve that there is a possi­bility of cleansing, and perfect healing and making sound and whole here, while on earth. There is great talk of these things (of the water, the blood, the cleansing) in all the Regions of Babylon, (which hath heard of the fame, and forms to it self a likeness) but the thing it self is not to be found there, and so the vertue, which comes from the thing it self alone, cannot be felt there.

And here, in this there is a great difference between the ves­sels of Sion, and the vessels of Babylon. The vessels of Sion, they are weak, earthen, foolish, contemptible to the eye of mans wis­dome (which cannot look for any great matter of excellency there:) but the treasure, the liquor of life in them is precious. The vessels of Babylon make a great shew, appear very holy, very heavenly, very zealous for God and Christ, and for the set­ting [Page 4] up of his Church and Ordinances all over the world. Thus they appear without, but they are Sepulchers, there's rottenness within: under all this there lodgeth an unclean, an unsanctified heart, an heart unsubdued to the spirit and power of the Gospel, while it makes such a great shew of subjection and obedience to the letter.

5. It is the City of the King of darknesse, of the great King of darkness, of the Prince of the power of the ayre, who rules univer­sally in the darknesse, in the mistery of iniquiry throughout, even in every heart. Where ever is sin, there is Satans throne; and there he hath his Laws, his Government, his power in every heart of his dominion. And where there is the least subjection to him, he is yet a Prince, his building is not as yet there wholly thrown down, he is not there as yet dispossessed and cast out. As long as there is any thing left wherein he may dwell, he knows his owne, and keeps his hold of it. It is his right, and he will not loose it. All sin, all darkness is properly his: it is his seat, and he hath the Go­vernment there. Man is the Land where these two Kings fight, and what ever is good and holy belongs to the one King, and what ever is evill and unclean belongs to the other, and there is no communion or peace between them, but each keep their own, and gather of their own unto themselves. And where the fight is once begun between these, there is no quietness in that Land till one of these be dispossessed: but then there is either the peace of Babylon, most commonly under a form of holinesse, or the peace of Sion in the spirit, life and power.

6. This City was built (and is daily built) in imitation of Sion, painted just like Sion. The intent of it's building was to eat out Sion, to suppresse Sion, to withdraw from the truth by a false Image, and to keep her Inhabitants in peace and satisfaction, un­der a beliefe and hope that it is the true Sion; and therefore it must needs be made like Sion, else it could no way suite these ends. Every street must be like the streets of Sion, every house like the houses of Sion, every Tribe and family like the Tribes and familyes of Sion, every person like the persons in Sion, all the Laws, Ordinances, &c. like the Laws and Ordinances of Sion, the worship like the worship in Sion, the faith like the faith of Sion, the painted Christ like the Christ of Sion, all that go for truths like the truths of Sion, they would not deceive else; City Baby­lon [Page 5] would be soon seen through else, and become quickly desolate and forsaken, did she not lay her paint very thick, and with great art and skil. Now here's the wisdome, here's the true eye tried, to see through al the paints of this city in al the shapes and forms of it, to turn from every street, every house, every chamber, eve­ry image and false appearance of truth, every false appearance of ordinances and wayes of worship, every likenes of things which this spirit forms from the letter, every duty that it thus cals for, every promise of Scripture which it endeavours to apply to that to which it belongs not, that it might lull the soule asleep, and cosen and deceive it of the thing promised: here I say is the true eye tried to turn from all this, and to waite for the raising and re­deeming of the true seed of Sion, and for the springing up of the true life and power in it and from it: For as long as this spirit can deceive you with any likenes, ye shal never know the truth, nor come to the worship of the true living God, which alone is in the spirit and in the truth.

7. The end of al this, of Satans building up this city, this great city (thus accurately in the power of deceit, and in the very likenes of Sion) was and is that it might be taken for Sion, and he worshipped there as God, and that without jealousie or suspition. And he hath attained his end, his city hath deceived and doth deceive, it passeth currant for Sion among al the inhabitants of Babylon; almost every sort of people cry it up for Sion, in one appearance or other, though al do not cry up the same appear­ance; but their own image, way and worship, every one extolls; their own image of the truth for the truth, their own way of wor­ship for the way, their own church and family for the church and family of God. And worshipping here, they worship him, and not the Lord: for the Lord cannot be worshipped in any part of Babylon, but the King of Babylon is worshipped in Babylon, and the King of Sion alone in Sion. Ah how deeply do men deceive their souls! they think they beleeve in God, they think they pray to God, and hope to be owned at length by God, and yet are so far from coming out of Mystery Babylon, that it was never yet so much as discovered to them; but they have either walked in the way of religion and worship they were brought up in in the apostacy, or perhaps have removed out of one or two of the broad streets of it, and so thereby think they have left Babylon, when as the [Page 6] same spirit hath sit down in another street of the same city, build­ing up another house by the direction of the King thereof, and there worshipping the same spirit as they did before; but their souls never knew the fire in Sion, and the furnace in Jerusalem, by which the very inwards of their spirits must be cleansed, before the pure ey of life be opened which can see Sion.

Now because ye are more able to receive things from Scrip­ture-expressions, then from the nature of the thing it self, spoken as it is felt in the heart (concerning which, much more might be said, were ye able to bear it) consider a few Scriptures.

Babylon is called a great city, Rev. 16. 19. and a great and mighty city, chap. 18. 10. O the power of deceit in that city to bewitch from the life! O the multitude of lying wonders that are there shewn in the heart, to make a man beleeve that he is in the life! to perswade men that the King thereof is the King of Sion! and that the laws and ordinances of worship there, are the laws and ordinances oi Sion! that the prayer there, is the prayer of the true child! that the beleeving there, is the true faith! the love there, the true love! the hope there, the true hope! &c. Some parts of Babylon, some likenesses of truth there, are so taking, that none but the elect, by the opening of the e­ternal eye, can espy the deceit.

And it is a spiritual city, a mystical city, a city built by the wor­king of the mystery of iniquity, 2 Thes. 2. 7. whereupon she is called Mystery, Rev. 17. 5. It is not a city of plain wickedness, but a city of sin hid, of sin keeping its life under a covering, under a form of godlines, of sin reigning in the heart under zeal, under devotion, under praying, beleeving, worshipping, hoping, wait­ing, &c. Where sin lies hid within under these, there's Babylon, there's the mystery of witchcraft, there's the painted throne of Satan, there's spiritual Egypt and Sodom, where the Lord of life is daily crucified. This is the city, the mystical city, the spiritual city, Rev. 11. 8. And here is building up and throwing down continually. She builds, the spirit of the Lord confounds, then down goes her building, then up with another, then down again. This is her course without end, when the Spirit of the Lord di­sturbs her, for otherwise she can settle in any form of knowledg or worship: though in her ordinary course she hath also many changes and turnings, One while this or that being a truth, ano­ther [Page 7] while not, One while this or that being the sence or mean­ing of such a Scripture, another while not. Babylon is hardly ever without this kind of building up and throwing down.

And this city is a great city, a city spread over all the earth, she made all nations drink of the wine of the cup of her fornication, Rev. 14. 8. The woman, which is this city (Rev. 17. 18.) sate upon peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues, Rev. 17. 15. She sate upon them as Queen, as Princess, guiding them in their knowledg and worship of the King of Babylon. And those that once hated her, and made war with her, and burnt her flesh with fire, she cosoned them with a new paint, got them into her new bed of fornication, and made them worship the King of Babylon again, Rev. 17. 12, 13. & v. 16, 17. and there they lay committing whoredom with her, til the time of her last burning and utter de­solation: but then they forsook her, for fear of her torment, when they saw the smoke of her burning, Rev. 18. 9, 10.

In the Temples of this city (for in al the streets thereof, yea in every house there are Temples) Antichrist sits as God, and is worshipped, 2 Thess. 2. 4. He as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. He hath clothed himself like God, he appears like God (like the holy pure Spirit of life and power) he appears in the temple of God, he sits there, he rules there, he gives forth laws and ordinances of worship and devotion. Yea if any one wil question his godhead, or his right to do thus, he wil prove it, he wil make it manifest, in the very temple of God, that he is God: He as God sitteth in the temple of God, shew­ing himself that he is God. He hath exalted himself into the throne above al that is called God, he hath got into the temple, he sit­teth there as God, and there he maketh it manifest to al his wor­shippers that he is the God, in so much as among al the inhabi­tants of Babylon he is acknowledged and worshipped, and the true Spirit of life is hid from their eyes, and denied and crucified. He shews himself that he is God, he gives demonstrations of his godhead, which that eye which is out of the life cannot but ac­knowledg and take to be true. There is none can see and ac­knowledg the true God, the true Christ, but those that have the true ey, the true anointing (no man can say, that Jesus is the Lord, but by the holy Spirit, 1 Cor. 12. 3.) and yet how many can speak great words of God and of Christ, who know not what be­longs [Page 8] to the anointing? Alas, alas, Al nations and sorts of pro­fessors out of the life, are co [...]oned with the devils demonstrati­ons, with Antichrists demonstrations, with the whores demon­strations, with the false Prophets demonstrations, which are un­deniable to that wisdome wherein they stand, and to that eye wherewith they look to see.

Now mark this, Antichrists coming, when he first deceived, was very mighty, exceeding strong, 2 Thess. 2. 9, 10. Whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with al deceivableness of unrighteousness &c. Weigh the thing wel Satan used al his art, and al his strength to conceive and bring forth this mystery of iniquity, so like the my­stery of godlines, that it might pass for currant in the world, and he rule as God in in i [...]. With all power, &c. no power of deceit wanting, he did not spare for signs and lying wonders, yea [...] gave power to the beast to do wonders and miracles, even to make s [...]e come downe from heaven on the earth, in the sight of men, (which was the sign and wonder whereby the God of Israel was distinguished from Baal, power to work this very sign Satan gives to the Beast, to confirm the godhead of the Dragon and Anti­christ with.) Rev. 13. v. 13, 14. These are the things men look for, see but great power, signs, miracles, they are satisfied: the whole world stands ready to be deceived with this. Yea, and if the eye be not opened in persons, which can distinguish of power, they must needs be deceived. Signs, wonders and miracles had their place in the first covenant, and were to that part to which the first covenant was (not to them that beleeve, but to them that beleeve not.) Now after the full demonstration of the truth by signs and miracles, the power of Satan riseth up, and by lying signs wonders and miracles overturneth the truth. Now the un­beleeving part in man expects and cals for signs and miracles, and says that wil determine the controversie, and settle the state of the Church again, but that part is not to prescribe God his way: yea he wil steal as a theif upon thee, whose ey is abroad, and lookest for demonstrations without.

And as Antichrist got up thus, so Antichrist wil go out thus: he wil raise up this power, and what lying signs wonders and mi­racles he can, to defend himself with, now the Spirit of the Lord is risen up to dispossess him, and cast him out of the house which [Page 9] he hath long lodged in. And he that can be cosened with power, with signs, with lying wonders (which are lying, because they come from the spirit of deceit, with an intent to deceive, though they may come to pass, and appear true to mans eye, Deut. 13. 1, 2, 3.) or with any of the deceivablenes of unrighteousnes, shal never come out of Babylon, but only be translated into some of the more refi­ned chābers of it, & fed with somemore fresh likenesses of truth, where he shall stil remain an Inhabitant and worshipper in some Image, perhaps of universal love life and liberty, and yet be out of the life, out of the love, out of the liberty of the truth, which stands in the power and presence of the Spirit of God, and not in the most refined Image or likeness.

All the world wondred after the beast, and they worshipped the Dragon which gave power unto the beast, and they worshipped the beast, Rev: 13. 3, 4. The Dragon is the Devil, the beast is that spirit of the earth which he raiseth up, and feeds in men with a form and appearance of truth; to which he gives his power, and his seat, and his authority: and every man hath a measure of this according to his state, condition, place and service in Babylon. And now what a man doth here in Religion (be he never so de­vout and zealous, and frequent in Ordinances and duties) is the worship of this spirit, and of the Dragon who sits and rules in this spirit. I am run into hard expressions, very hard, because the nature of these things is hid from mens eyes, and they are in the mist of Antichrists raising, in the smoak which comes from the pit, where there is no opening of the true eye, nor no true sight of things: but truly, if ever ye espy the Dragon, the beast, Anti­christ, the whore, the false Prophet, ye must look at home, and read within: and there having found the thing, and seen it in the true light, ye will be able to read it certainly abroad also. Now do not go about to distinguish these things, in the notion of the understanding, but come to feel the life, to unite with the life, and the eye will open which can see into the nature of things, and will behold all in it's season: for that eye which is so eager to see, shall never see these things, but that eye alone which waits in stilnesse and quietnesse, on the pleasure and good will of the opener.

Now all this time, while Babylon stands, while Antichrist sits in the Temple, while Satan reigns over all the Antichristian [Page 10] world, the true and living God hath not been known, feared, nor glorified (but mens knowledge hath been of a false God they have set up, and him they have feared, and given the glory to in their worship) nay the Gospel hath not been preached, the true Gospel, the everlasting Gospel, the Gospel wherein is the light and power of eternal life, to turn men from all Antichristian forms of knowledge and worship to the true life and power. But when Babylon falls, and Mount Sion begins to appear again, then this Gospel is to be preached again, even by an Angel who re­ceiveth it from God himselfe, Rev: 14. 6, 7. for man could ne­ver recover it again: it requires a new inspiration. The law is to go forth out of Sion, & the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And this Gospel is to be preached to every Nation, and Kindred, and Tongue, and people, v: 6. mark, There was not one Nation, not one kindred, not one tongue, not one people that kept the everlasting Gospel, but it was laid up in Sion, it was carried with the Church into the Wildernes, and there it hath been hid all the time of the apostacy since the dayes of the Apostles. But now Sion is redee­ming, the true woman bringing back again out of the Wilderness, she brings back the true everlasting Gospel with her; and there is an Angel chosen in the power of the Lord (even in the same power and Spirit that first preached it) to preach it again to e­very Nation, Kindred, Tongue and people. And the Lord hath so ordered it, that he will have the voice of this Angel as despi­cable to the wise in Religion, to the zealous in devotion of all sorts of this backsliding age, as the former preaching was to the wise and devout both among the Jews and Greeks. So that who­soever is wise in Religion according to the flesh, whosoever is wise in expectation and waiting for the kingdome, whosoever is wise in reasoning about it, and can tel the foregoing signs. of it, &c. shall not know the voice: but he that can shut his eyes by the leadings of the pure life, and enter into the hidden womb of wisdom, where the light of life is sown, he shall be new for­med, and come forth a child out of the womb of wisdom with the new eye, the new ear, the new heart, the new understanding and sences; and keeping in the childish simplicity, out of the wisdome, zeal, and devotion which deceived him before, he shall receive and enter into the everlasting kingdome.

Therefore all people wait humbly for the candle of the Lord, [Page 11] that therewith ye may search out Babylon, and may come to see what of her treasures ye have gathered, that ye may throw them away speedily, and give up your ships and vessels (wherewith ye have traffiqued for these kind of wares) to the fire of the Lords jealousie, that ye may receive the durable riches, that ye may hear the joyful sound of the everlasting Gospel, and know the true Christ which it alone reveals, and come to fear and worship and glori [...]e the true God, and not go down into the pit or lake with the Dragon, the beast, the whore and false Prophet, which will be the portion of the most zealous false worshippers. And when your eyes come once to be opened in the true light, ye will bless the Lord for giving you these warnings, and not be so angry at us (who have paid dear for them) for our willingnesse, if it be possible, to save you some of the charges they have cost us; how­ever, at least to preserve your souls from that ruine and dread­ful destruction, which all the paths of Babylon lead to.

The sins of Babylon.

Although in the foregoing description, some of the sins of Babylon have been touched at, yet I find my spirit further drawn forth (in way of service to the Lord and his people) to take a further view, both of them and some other of her sins.

THe sins of Babylon, by the Spirit of life (which hath righte­ously measured and knoweth them) are referred to these two Heads, Fornications and Abominations. She allureth the spi­rit of the creature into a strange bed, and there it acts filthily and abominably with this strange spirit. Now of these there are two sorts; First, some more open and manifest; Secondly, some more hid and secret, hard (yea utterly impossible) to be dis­cerned without the shining forth of the pure light of li [...]e.

All sorts of men are estranged from the life: under the whole heaven is the Lord God forgotten, and his holy and pure Law and way of life, and filthinesse and abomination is committed every where. Now all this filth (even the common filth of the earth) springs out of Babylon, hath it's rise from her womb. Were it not for her, the sound of life would be heard even among he Heathen, and they would not be such strangers to him that made [Page 12] thē, nor would they act so contrary to those leadings & teachings of the Spirit of God (who is the God of the whole earth) which the darkest parts are not without. It is she, which withdraws their minds from the pure glimmerings that rise up in them, setting up another God in their eyes, and heathenish sottish wayes of fear, worship and devotion: and under this she makes them filthy and polluted, unclean in their minds and in their bo­dyes, brutish in their knowledge and in their practices: For she is the mother of fornications and abominations of the earth, Rev: 17. 5. Look what of pride, of vanity, of cruelty, of envy, of wrath, of lust, of covetousness, of idolatry, of blasphemy, &c. is to be found any where among men upon the earth, she is the mother of it all. All the common filth and stench of the earth springs out of this womb; this secret womb, this hidden womb: For though in this her open & visible appearance, she be manifest to the eyes of many; yet to those children of hers who are thus conceived, brought forth and bred up by her, she is a mistery of iniquity, and they perceive her not so much as here, and so can­not escape this her openly polluted bed.

Secondly, The whore hath more secret fornications and abo­minations. Where she can passe thus, she need not paint, either her self or her ware: but where need requires she hath her paint, she hath her delicates for the curious eye (Rev: 18. 3.) she hath her Cinamon, Odours, Ointments, and frankinsence for the nice scent; she hath her fine flower and wheat, &c. for the fine pallace; and gold, precious stones, pearl, and vessel's of ivory, and all manner of vessel's of most precious wood for the more stately worshipper; as wel as of brass and Iron for the more common, Rev: 18, 12, 13. she can paint both her self and her ware, so as to make them taking to the eye of all flesh. She can so mingle her cup, as shall please every palate, but that which is truly living, and cast such a co­lour upon her abominations, as no eye that's without can suspect, but takes with every young man that's hunting abroad, and knows not the spring of life in himself. So that all the deceits in Reli­gion, all the several forms and wayes of knowledge and worship, all the ordinances, duties, and devotions which the spirits of most men take pleasure in, are of her. And herein is her pride and glory, in subjecting these, in ruling over these, in blinding the eyes of these, and opposing the true life and power by these. [Page 13] She doth not value whole Territories of the other, so much as one Congregation of these. For mark,

The great Master-piece of the whore was to paint her self like the Lambs wife, and so to withdraw from the true Church, and set up a false Church, which by reason of its paint and like­ness to that which once was the true, should passe up and down the world, and be taken for the true: And here lies her beau­ty, her glory, her majesty, her life, her heart, even in the deceiv­ableness of this appearance. Therefore her great care and indea­vour is, to keep her possession and dominion here. She often re­neweth and changeth her paint, neerer and neerer to the Image and former likeness of truth, that she might make it pass instead of the truth, and so keep that which is indeed the truth down stil under reproach, contempt and persecution, as she hath done these many ages. Therefore she hath her sorts of paint by her, her varieties of sorcery, of witchery, of inchantments, whereof her cup is ful, and wherewith her wine is made strong, to make the Inhabitants of the earth drunk thereby, that being thus be­sotted, being not themselves, but their spiritual sences bound up (as this wine doth very effectually, where ever her cup is drunk off) she might lead them up and down from one thing to another, from one chamber to another, from one bed to another, from one practice and way of worship to another, and stil keep them from the true living thing which their souls seek.

For were it possible for persons, who did but so much as read in the Scriptures, concerning the power of life the Saints former­ly enjoyed, the living Ministry and Ordinances, their sweet walking and fellowship in the light, the presence of the spirit in their worship, and in their whole course, their sincere love in the spirit, and tender bearing with one anothers weaknesses, doubts and differences; (which he that reads singly, cannot but pant af­ter;) And the state of the Gospel was not to be a decaying and dying in these things, or a loosing of them, so that the power of the spirit, and the revelations thereof should cease (as the who­rish spirit, which hath gone out from the life, pleads;) but to grow and increase, and the last times to abound most of all with the power and glory of truth: I say, were it possible for persons who should read, and entertain the least tast or savour of these­things, to be satisfied with any of those dead wayes and forms, [Page 14] which the whore hath set up instead of them, unless they were wholly bewitched, and altogether deprived of their sences, being made dead drunk which the whores mingled wine in this dark night of apostacy? Yea, professors are drunk, they have deep­ly drunk of the cup, and are sorely overtaken, and their hearts overcharged with strong liquor, which makes them even mad to draw others into their beds of fornication, and to stand up them­selves in great rage, and call also to the Magistrates for the de­fence of them. Yea like the clamourous woman they make a great noise about ordinances, duties, Ministry, Church, &c. (I have decked and perfumed my bed, saith the loud woman, the subtil­hearted woman, Prov: 7. 16, 17.) but do not soberly consider which are the painted ones, which the truth. We have run on headily after these things too long; it is now time to stand stil a while, and wait for the purging out of the wine wherewith all our brains have been overturned, that we may come into soberness, and into a fit temper to be led by the Spirit of life, out of the bed of fornications, and out of the wayes, worships, ordinances, and duties of fornication, into the bed of the true and undefiled Spirit. Now he that worships God aright, must feel life within (and that life raised and strengthned by him who begets it) and this will savour death, and (faithfully following its guid) will come out of the land of death, even that land wherein all the false worshippers inhabit, and wherein all the false wayes and worships, duties, ordinances, Ministeryes, &c. are set up and flourish.

Now these secret sins of Babylon, are the same with the more open and gross, the great difference is their secrecy, their not appearing like sins, their paint, their colour, whereby they are swallowed down for holy and good. As to instance.

There is fornication (or adultery from the life) in the fi­nest, in the purest way of worship man can invent or imitate: but the fornication doth not so plainly appear here, but they who have drunk of the cup, take these things for the wayes and ap­pointments of God. Those that set up the whores Church, do not call it so (nor perhaps think it to be so;) those that set up the whores Ministry or ordinances, do not give them that name, but call them the Ministry and ordinances of Christ: yet this is [Page 15] as truly, as really fornication from the life, as the grossest wayes of Heathenish worship. O mark it, mark it.

If thou hast read the Scriptures, and thrust thy selfe into any practices thou there findest mentioned, without the raising up of a living thing in thee, and without thy following by the gui­dance thereof, thou hast done this by the whores advice, and in this thou art committing fornication, and erring from the life: for the true worship lies in the Spirit and in the truth, and it is the new birth that God seeks to worship him: but the spirit of man thrusting it selfe into these things, the Lord abhors and re­jects. And this spirit never can be thus cleansed and fitted to enter into Christs bed, but only gets a paint from Scripture, and enters into the painted bed and bosome of the harlot, where it remains unrenewed, unchanged, unmortified in the midst of all it's great talk and profession of these things. And thus the Scrip­tures, the Holy Scriptures of truth (which were given forth from the pure spirit of life) the whorish spirit maketh use of to estrange from the life. For what sort of persons, which have fornicated from the life, but make use of the Scriptures to maintain their whoredoms by, and to bewitch others into their whoredoms with? Every sort cryes up their own way and worship, to be the way and worship according to the Scriptures: and if any be ga­thered out of all these witcheries into the power of God, then the bewitched say that such are bewitcht.

Then as for all the abominations of the earth, all the filth that defiles the heart, it is to be found on the skirts of the whore, even in her most refined dresse: For her religion, her worship, her profession, her practices do not reach to the purifying of the conscience, but only to painting over of the old Sepulcher, where rottennesse still lodgeth within. The sore was never throughly searched, the heart was never throughly circumcised or baptized, the old man was never put of, nor the new man put on, the blood of purifying (which truly washeth away the sin) was never felt in it's vertue and power, but only an apprehension and talk that they are cleansed in Christ, from a notion they have stollen out of the Scriptures, but not from the sensible feeling of the thing in life and power in their consciences. And so the evil nature stil remains, the evil heart of unbelief is stil to be found in them, and they want the life, they want the power; they want the Spi­rit, [Page 16] they want the love, they want the humility, they want the meekness, they want the patience, they want the innocency and simplicity of the Lamb and Dove. And when the Lord comes to provoke them to jealousie by the shining of his light, and by the appearance of his power in some whom they despise; then the pride, the passion, the envy, the heart-burnings, the hard spee­ches, the false surmisings, with the rest of the enmity which still abides with them, stirs and rises against the life and power, and their hypocrisie is made manifest. Yea some of the strictest a­mong them can scoffe and jeer at the appearance of life, so strong is the evil and unmortified nature in them, and so conceited are they in their wayes and practices, because of their cover, under which all this iniquity (for the most part) lyes hid from their eyes. But for all that it is there, it is there, the Lords candle will search it out, and thine owne eye shall see it, and find in thy selfe bloody Cain, scoffing Ishmael, prophane Esau, the un­circumcised Jew, who is angry that his brothers sacrifice is ac­cepted and his not, who disdains and derides the true seed of of life, the living heir, who hunts abroad for food pleasing to that nature which is to be famished, who crucifies the Lord of glory because of his meaness, and because he appears not in that way of devotion and holinesse wherein they expect him. Neither will he appear so, but to overturn all that which ye have set up, and to set up that which ye disdain. This is the Lords work, and it is marvellous in our eyes.

Now there are several sins which the Spirit of the Lord hath charged Babylon with, and which he will reckon with her for, and with all that partake with her therein, some whereof I may mention. As,

1. Her deep fornications from the life, under a pretence of honou­ring and worshipping of it. (Be not offended that I begin with it again, seeing it is also mentioned among other particular sins of hers, Rev: 9. 21.) She speaks fair words, she calls to have the worship of God set up, and a Godly Ministry, and the Ordinan­ces of God in a Nation; but the thing is not so in the sight of God, but in all this she seeks the advancement of her owne whoredoms. And this was, and is the very way of Antichrists ri­sing; he gets into the form, he cryes up the form; and by the form which he cries up, he eats out the power. If Antichrist [Page 17] speak directly against the power, (without first creeping into, and setting up a form, and crying up that) he would soon be de­tected: but under a form and profession of truth, he hides him­selfe, and covers his spirit of enmity and persecution therewith; and here he can secretly and safely smite the innocent, and fight against that very spirit, life, and power, which he himselfe in his form makes a profession of being subject to. And this is the Wolfe in the Sheeps cloathing, which by this fair appearance of the sheeps wool on his back, covers his ravenous narure from the eyes of the beholders.

Now there are three wayes of fornication, one of which this spirit is allwayes guilty of, sometimes of them all.

1. By inventing things which the Lord never commanded, or ad­ding to that which the Lord did command. The mind of man is very busie, and ful of inventions: and where the heart is touched with devotion and zeal towards God, the inventing part excee­dingly exerciseth it selfe this way, either in imagining and for­ming somewhat which it thinks may be acceptable to God, or in adding to those things which it finds commanded. In this way of fornication the popish Church abounds, being filled with ce­remonies of their own inventing, and of additions to such things as are found mentioned in the Scriptures. The common Protes­tants also have been too guilty here.

2. By imitating of those things, which were commanded to others. When a man finds in Scripture the things which some others did, or which they were commanded to do; and so he is venturing up­on them, before he feels the leading of that spirit, whereby they were led thereunto. Now in this, he errs from the life, he goes without his guid, he doth that which was a good thing in others (who were led by the Spirit thereto) but in him it is fornication. This man is a theif and an intruder, he steals into the outward knowledge and practise, without the inward life and power, he intrudes into that into which others were fairly led, coming in by the doore, for which entrance he also should have waited, and not have run on headily of himself. This way of fornication, the strictest among the Protestants have generally been ensnared in, who have run on further and further to search out the purest way of worship, the neerest pattern to the primitive times, and so have applyed themselves diligently thereto, not knowing what [Page 18] they were to wait for to be their guid, and give them the enter­ance. And here now, thinking themselves to be in the right, they have contracted a lofty spirit, (and held forth their concep­tions of the way, as the only way) and so have lost the meekness and simplicity, which was fresh and lively in some of them be­fore, which sets them a great way back, and makes the enterance into the kingdom very hard to them: Whereas if that simplici­ty and tenderness were fresh in them, the Lord would shew great regard to that, easily pardoning this their errour and (in mercy to them) visiting that evil spirit with his judgements, which stood nigh them, and was the cause of their error. But they are grown high, they are grown wise, they are become confident, they know the way already, and can maintain it by undenyable argu­ments (as they think) to be the way, so the Lord with his teach­ings is at a great distance from them, that lying very low in them, which the Lord alone will teach.

3. By continuing in practices, to which they were once led by the Spirit, without the immediate presence and life of the Spirit. For the whole worship, the whole Religion of the Gospel consists in following the Spirit, in having the Spirit do all in us, and for us. Therefore whatsoever a man doth of himself, it is out of the life, it is in the fornication. If a man pray at any time without the Spirit, that prayer is fornication, and is not either acceptable to God, or profitable to himself; but grieves the Spirit, hurts the life, and wounds the soul. Now this way of fornication have they especially fallen into, who have been acquainted with true lead­ings and openings of the Spirit, and have afterwards run to them for refreshment, and so by degrees forgot the Spirit that opened. And by this means was that life, which was precious and very favoury in the Ranters (before they were seduced, by the Spirit of deceit, into that way of ranting) overturned. And thus they also (who deeply saw into the mistery of whoredoms, and into the more inward wayes of fornication, above others) even they also were deceived with the whores cup, and drank afresh of that wine of fornication, which the whore very cunningly had new mingled for them, and they also are become a reproach to the Inhabitants of Sion, who find a living habitation in that Spirit of life, which they turned from.

Now if there be a true eye opened in any in the reading of [Page 19] this, how easily and manifestly will he see whoredome, whore­dome, fornication, adultery generally in mens Religions practi­ces, in their Churches, in their Ministeries, in their Ordinances, in their prayers, in their whole course! O how, think ye, doth the eye of the Jealous God behold these things! but your eyes, who are held captive here, cannot see it. The God of this world, with his mists hath darkned you, the great whore with her sor­ceries hath inchanted you, and ye are her slaves,: ye are drunk with her cup, and how can ye judge soberly, ei [...]her of your own estate towards God, or concerning your practices in Religi­on?

2. Her notorious blasphemies. Having fornicated from the life, and from the Spirit, then she blasphemes the life, and the holy pure power and movings of the Spirit. The woman which sate up­on the scarlet coloured beast (with whom the Kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made dru [...]k with the wine of her fornication) was full of names of blasphe­my, Rev: 17. 2, 3. Yea the beast which carried her, which had many heads horns and crowns, he also had on his heads names of blasphemy, Rev: 13. 1. And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies, ver: 5. And he, with the whore together (for he did it by her spirit and instigation, by vertue of the wine he had drunk out of her cup) opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwel in Heaven, ver: 6. This hath been the work of the tongue, in every head of the beast, namely, to blaspheme the life, to blaspheme the true living power, in all ages and generations, since the apostacy from the life and spirit of the Apostles.

Now there is a twofold blasphemy, which the whore (and the powers of the earth that serve her) are guilty of.

1. There is a speaking well of the wayes of their own inventi­on, or the wayes which they have imitated without the life, to call these the wayes of God, the true wayes of life is blasphemy, I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but a Synagogue of Satan, Rev: 2. 9. There were even in the Apostles dayes, persons who pretended to be Christians, and pre­tended still to be of the Church, though they had lost the life, and this the Spirit of the Lord saith was blasphemy. And what is [Page 20] their gathering into a Church, who were never gathered into the life, and setting up Ordinances and pastors? what is this? what is it for him to call himself a Christian, or inward Jew, who ne­ver had the fore-skin of his flesh cut off by the circumcising knife of the Spirit? what will the Lord say this is, when he comes to judge?

2. There is a speaking evil of the truths of God. The true knowledge, the true fear, the true worship, the true Saints, the true God, the true Tabernacle, the true Temple, the true Hea­ven (all which is in the Spirit, and is alone revealed and seen there) there are reproached, these are mis-represented (and the true sight and acknowledgement of them called error, heresie, and sectarism) by all the blasphemers of Babylon.

Israel, who had the Law and the Prophets, the true Ordinan­ces and the true Priests, yet they called evill good, and good evil; they put darknesse for light, and light for darknesse; they put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter, Isa: 5. 20. They were so wise in their own eyes, and so prudent in their own sight, they were so mighty to drink wine, and men of such strength to mingle strong drink (justify­ing the wicked for reward, and taking away the righteousness of the righteous from him) that there was no convincing of them by the light of God shining from the Prophets, of their casting away of the Law of the Lord, and despising the word of the holy one of Is­rael, ver: 21. to 25. Nay they were observers of the law, and bearkned to the Prophets and Priests of the Lord, Jer: 5. 31. Therefore when the overflowing scourge came, it should not come neer them: Yea when the true Prophets of the Lord threatnedthē with his coming with dreadful vengeance, and his strange worke, they in the height and confidence of their spirits could reply, Let him make speed, and hasten his worke, that we may see it, Isa: 5. 20. How blind were they from seeing their blasphemies, their cal­ling of evil good, and good evil &c? Yea in the very dayes of the Apostles, The way of truth was evil spoken of, and Synagogues of Satan setting up, and blasphemies growing up apace from those which held the true form, but denyed the power, even while the powrings forth of the Spirit, and revelations from the Spirit did abound: How can it be expected it should be otherwise now, when the Spirit is grown such a strange thing, that to mention such a thing as being moved by the Spirit, or acted by the Spi­rit, [Page 21] is become ridiculous? and the very teachers of the Nation (who must speak by the Spirit, if they speak the word of God) cry revelation is ceased, and count it a reproach, for a man so much as to pretend to speak by the movings, and in the power of the Spirit.

Now this double blasphemy necessarily follows the fornicati­on. Whoever is fornicated from the life, he blasphemes the the life, in all his knowledg, in all his worship, in all his Religion. He calls that prayer which is not prayer, that an ordinance which is not an ordinance, that a Church which is not a Church, [...] a Minister which is not a Minister: and that which is indeed the prayer, the ordinance, the Church, the Minister, he denyes and blasphemes, and cannot do otherwise, until the righteous judge­ments of the Lord purge the whores wine out of him, and he be led back to that life and Spirit again, from which (in all these wayes of worship, inventions, and imitations) he is gone a who­ring.

The whore, for these many ages, hath been laying blasphemy to the charge of such, as in any degree, have been led by the Spirit of the Lord from her whoredomes: but now the Lord is taking it off from them (who have long been unjustly charged therewith) and charging it upon her, and she cannot escape his judgement: for though she put on never so fine dresses, and appearances like the Spouse and Church of Christ, yet the Lord can distinguish and find out his Spouse, though naked, in the wilderness, and without her attire; and can also espy the who­rish spirit, though cloathed with the Churches attire, and can charge her blasphemies (against him, his Tabernacle, and them that dwell in Heaven) upon her.

3. Grosse or more refined idolatries. Little children, said John, keep your selves from Idols, 1 John 5. 21. He saw Antichristia­nism breaking in apace, many Antichrists being already come, and now saith he, keep to the anointing, and keep from Idols. Without a very strict watch, without a mighty preservatiō by the anointing, he saw idolatry would even creep in upon them, who had tasted of the true power and vertue of life. But how shall they keep from Idols, who know not the anointing, but think the revelations thereof are ceased? He that buyeth not the tried gold of Christ (Rev: 3. 18.) How can he avoid buying untried [Page 22] gold of Antichrist, or silver, or brasse, or wood, or stone, which his Merchants traffique for, and make idols of? Rev: 9. 20. If thine eyes be anointed with the true eye-salve, thou mayest see, and read the parable.

Idolatry is the worshipping of God without his Spirit (that is the plain, naked truth of the thing.) to invent things from the carnal mind, or to imitate things which others (who had the Spirit) did in the Spirit, by the command of the Spirit, for thee to imitate and practice this without the Spirit, is idolatry. An invented Church, an invented Ministry, an invented worship, an imitated Church, an imitated Ministry, an imitated worship without the life, without the Spirit, all these are the work of mens hands, and are idols, and all that is performed herein is idolatry, Rev: 9▪ 20. This is a Religion without life, a worship without life, a fabrick for idolatry; and the whole course of worship and service in it, is idolatry. For the living God, the Lord God of endless life and power, is alone worshipped by his Spirit, and in the truth of that life which he begets in the heart, and all other worship (though never so seemingly spiritual) is idolatrous. Ah professors, pro­fessors, if ye knew how many idol-prayers, and services ye have loaded the Lord with, and how ye have been whoring from him, while ye have seemed to be drawing nigh to him, ye would hang down your heads and mou [...]n: For what ever ye have done, in the worship of God, without the leading and presence of his Spirit, it hath been idolatry. For the worship of God under the Gospel is in the Spirit and in the truth, and required of them who are in the Spirit and in the truth, and not of others, John 4. 23. for them alone the Lord seeketh to worship, and the Lord will admit of none to his worship, but such as he seeks. And if any else will thrust themselves into his worship, it is not accepted, nor do they worship the true God, but they worship they know not what: and their whole state and course here, is a state and course of idolatry.

4. Sorceryes, witcherafts, divinations and inchantments (I do not mean outward sorceryes or witchcrafts, they are but the sha­dow or figure of the inward mistery of deceit of this black dark spirit, which appears as an Angel of light, that he migh bewitch and deceive.) Neither repented they of their sorcer yes, Rev: 9 21. This false Church, this adulterous woman, she hath her golden [Page 23] cup, and her wine mingled, and with this cup she bewitches the eye, with this wine she inflames the heart, and intoxicates the brain. She invents wayes and worships like to the true, or she imitates the true wayes and appearances of life, and when the poor simple young man is singly seeking after God from some true touches of his life, before he comes to know the Spirit of life, before he can come to be marryed to the Lamb, she comes with her golden cup, and with her tempting wine, and bewitches the poor heart therewith, and so leads it aside into her painted bed. Wouldst thou enjoy God, saith she? wouldst thou worship him aright? wouldst thou have fellowship with him? Lo here's the way, here's the Church, here are the Ordinances, here's the Mi­nistry, here are the means. Thou must wait upon God in the use of the means, and these are them. Did not the Saints formerly do thus? did not they meet with God here? did not they serve and worship God thus? Come thou hither also, do what they did, enjoy what they enjoyed. Yea, but thou whorish woman, did ever God appoint means wi [...]hout his Spirit? Thou leavest the main, yea indeed the only thing behind thee, which it selfe alone is accepted, and without which nothing is accepted. And this is the course of the whore in all her transformings, in all her baits, in all her temptings, she stil leaves the Spirit behind her. She may perhaps speak of the Spirit, to hide her self the more (because the letter of the Scripture is so expresse therein) and teach people to look and wait for the Spirit, but so as is never to be obtained: For he that begins in Religion either to pray, or worship, or seek the knowledge of God without the Spirit, shall never meet with the Spirit so; but that way of knowledge, religi­on, and worship of his must first be broken down, and he become a fool, and recieve the Spirit as a fool (out of all his religious knowledge and wisdom which he had gathered before) and after­wards, following the Spirit which is thus received, he shall be led into the true wisdom. Now mark that which follows, ye that have a desire to understand.

This spirit of deceit, this whorish spirit, this spirit of divinati­on and witchcraft, (which by her sorceryes deceived all Nations, Rev: 18. 23.) came forth curiously decked at first with all man­ner of deceiveableness of unrighteousness. It had the exact form of life, (the true form of Godliness) and a lively spirit in it: it had [Page 24] the form of knowledge, and the form of worship, and with these it came to tempt, and draw away them from the life and from the power, who were in the life and in the power: and it did prevail upon such as kept not close to the anointing. But after it had overcome, and gained the Churches territories, then it might safely corrupt the form; and so it did, and went into multitudes of inventions and fopperies (as at this day may be seen amongst the Papists.) Now these are easily discovered, and seen through by any simple plain honest eye, upon a little breaking forth of the light. Therefore the whorish spirit, when she perceives her self found out here, she changes her shape and attire, and comes back, back again by degrees (as need requires) to the forms of know­ledge and worship, wherewith she was arrayed, when she de­ceived at first: yet stil she is the same, and doth this to keep poor simple hearts, still in her bands, from the life and from the Spirit. And thus painted, thus decked, thus holding forth Scrip­ture-knowledge, and Scripture-wayes of worship, she is the more subtil witch, the more subtil sorceresse, and is able to de­ceive any eye, but that which is opened in the light. With her Lo here Christ, & lo there Christ, she would deceive the very elect, if it were possible: but it is not possible; for they are taught by the Spirit not to go forth, and the anointing within preserves them. And he that knoweth not this preservation, is bewitched by her, and his fear of God is such as may be taught by the pre­cepts of men, and practised without the knowledge of the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which is the Saints rule, guide, and preservation. For as the Apostles were able Ministers, not of the letter, but of the spirit of the New Testament, 3 Cor: 3. 6. So they that received their Ministry (or that which they ministred) received not the letter only, but the Spirit; and were preserved, not by the letter, but by the Spirit; and were made able to try words, things, and Spirits, not by the letter, but by the Spirit. But this the whorish spirit is departed from, and bewitcheth others from, first possessing them that the Spirit is not to be loo­ked for, and then perswading them to make as good shift as they can without it: and then (having thus prepared people) she brings forth her wares. Look ye, saith she, this is the way, thus and thus the Saints practised, do thou thus also. But thou must receive the Saints spirit, before thou either know or worship, or [Page 25] thou knowest and worshippest out of it: and in that path of sor­cery and witchcraft from the life, thou shalt never meet with the life, but the further thou proceedest therein, wilt be more and more entangled from it, and become stil a greater and grea­ter enemy to it, and more and more in love with the whore, and her whorish paths and pleasing wayes of devotion, whereby the false spirit in thee is raised up and nourished, but thy soul famished: for that can be nourished with nothing but the bread of life from the hand of the Spirit, but not with words, or forms of knowledge, or wayes of worship invented, or imitated; which doe but tickle the understanding or affectionate part of man, but reach not the life, so that that which should serve the Lord, is not there raised, but stil bound over with the bond of iniquity.

5. Luxury, excesse, and pleasure. She is rich with her Mer­chandize, and she enjoyes it to the ful, she takes the pleasure of it. She builds costly houses, weares rich apparrel, fares delici­ously (read spiritually with the spiritual eye.) She is rich in knowledge, rich in wayes of worship, rich in duties, rich in re­ligious performances and practices. And as she gained these in her own will (without the leadings of the life) and by her own search and wisdom: So she can make use of these in her own will, and according to the direction of her own wisdom. She can fast when she will, give thanks when she will, preach when she will, pray when she will, sing when she will, meditate when she will, bring forth her knowledge to others when she will. Look on the Papists, how rich are they in outward buildings, in gorge­ous Ceremonies, in times of worship, in wayes of mortification and pennance, in fasts, in feasts &c! Look on the several sorts of Protestants, they have their riches in their kind too, their Chur­ches, their buildings, their arts, their sciences, their languages, their bodyes of divinity; their cases of conscience, &c. They can open the whole body of Religion, resolve all doubts, expound all Scriptures, &c. The great City was cloathed in fine linnen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones, and pearls, Rev: 18. 16. And she sate thus on rhe Throne like a Queen, living deliciously, and taking her pleasure, to which her torment and sorrow afterwards is proportioned, ver: 7. Yea she had treasure and costlinesse enough to make all her Merchants [Page 26] rich that would trade with her, ver: 19. What knowledge, what delicate food, could the wisest or greatest of the earth desire, which she had not ready for them, see ver: 3. & ver: 9. But Sion, all this while, hath lain in the dust, and been despised: She hath had no building, no fence, but hath been trampled under foot by every unclean beast: Her witnesses have been cloathed with sackcloath (a garment which all the lofty inhabitants of Ba­bylon disdain:) her sare hath been hard in the Wildernesse, only a little Manm (which with fleshly Israel, who lust after rich and large knowledg, is counted light bread, and their souls soon loath it:) Nor had she this in plenty, but only a smal proportion dayly from the hand of the free-giver, sufficient to keep life in her in the Wildernesse, and to furnish her with strength to give in her testimony against Babylon, so far as the Lord saw good to call any of her seed thereunto. Now what professor can be willing to fare thus with her at present, and to wait for her future riches, ful­nesse, beauty and glory! Nay, nay, they have so long lived rich­ly, and fared deliciously in Babylon that they know not how to eat the bread of affliction, and drink the water of affliction with sad and desolate Sion. And yet this is the only way and passage out of Babylon into Sion: That which hath been rich and fat, and ful-fed there, must become poor, and lean, and feel hunger, and have none of the bread of life administred to it, no nor so much as husks neither: And in this sad day and state of misery, the poor is visited which receives the Gospel, and the dead raised, which receives the life.

6. Worshipping of the Devil. All the world wondred after the beast, and they worshipped the Dragon, Rev: 13. 3, 4. Now the Dragon is the Devil, Rev: 20. 2.

There is no other worship of God under the new Testament, but in Spirit and truth: and he that worships otherwise, worships not God, but that Spirit which teacheth to worship out of Gods Spirit, and out of the truth. Every prayer is not a prayer to God, but only that prayer which is from and in the Spirit. Every Or­dinance or duty is not an Ordinance of God, or a duty perfor­med to God, but only that which the Spirit leads into, and guids and preserves in. This is the way that all the earth have depar­ted from the Lord, namely, by erring from his Spirit. They cry up practises in Religion, dutyes, ordinances, the means, the [Page 27] means, a Church, a Church (as the Jews did the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord:) but they find the Church, before they have found the Spirit of the Lord; and so they find not the Church that is in God, the Church that is of his building, but they, poor hearts, frame up a building as wel as they can accor­ding to the pattern they find in the Scriptures; and so they are not an habitation for God in the Spirit, but are estranged from the life and Spirit in all their worship: and so are not found by the Spirit (which searcheth them and their worship) worshiping of God, but the works of their own hands, and Devils, Rev: 9. 20. For that charge stands good against all the inhabitants of Babylon, even to the highest and strictest of them all, whether in forms, or out of forms: There are many men who are very zealous and devout in their wayes of worship, who were never taught by the Spirit the way of worshipping God, nor do at all know how to worship in the Spirit: these my soul exceedingly pittyes. They have received into their understandings from the letter of the Scripture, that God is to be worshipped in Spirit, and that God will give his Spirit to them that ask it. They have asked, and they hope they have the Spirit, but poor deceived hearts, they know not what spirit they are of, nor in what spirit they act, nor what spirit they serve; and so perish for lack of knowledge, the key whereof hath been hid from them. Now let such consider:

There are but two spirits, the Spirit of God and the spirit of Satan, one of which guid all men in their devotion and Religion, and one of which they serve therein. He that is led by the Spi­rit of God, he serves God, he worships God: He that is led by the spirit of Satan, he serves not God, but that spirit which ap­peares in the Temple of God, like God, and gives such demon­strations that he is God, as no flesh can deny, 2 Thess: 2. 4. Here now is the great deceivableness of unrighteousness. In prophanesse, in manifest wickednesse, Satan is easily seen: and men that are found here, it is granted that they are serving the Devil: but that he should sit as King in gathered Churches, in dutyes, in ordinan­ces, in wayes of self-denyal and mortification, and be worship­ped here, this is hard to be seene: yet any of these which the Spirit of the Lord leads not into, or which are performed at any time without his Spirit, he is worshiped in. Consider this, ye that are wise in Religion, and are dilligently reading the Scrip­tures [Page 28] and gathering knowledge, and rules of worship, and ap­plying promises, &c. Do ye this in the life and Spirit of God? or in your own wisdom, and according to your owne understan­ding? Doth not the wisdom of that spirit which is out of the truth, guid you in your searchings after truth? O do not serve that spirit which the Lord hates but come backe to that, from which in all this ye erre, and which in all this ye cannot serve and worship. And let not your Religion any longer consist in meer practising what the Saints formerly practised (for that ye may do without the same spirit) but in yeelding up to that life, power, and pure spirit that they were led by. And when ye are joyned to this, then do not prescribe the Lamb the way that he shall go, but follow the Lamb, whithersoever he goeth. Do not tell the Shepheard (by your gathered wisdom) the way that he must lead you in, but know the voice and follow: For this I can truly testi­fie, that if once ye come in faithfulnesse and true light to follow the Lamb, he will lead you in paths ye have not known, and out of the paths ye have known.

7. Compelling of others to worship, Rev: 13. 15, 16. The false woman and the beast set up a worship in the will, and they do not know why any in the will also may not subject and submit to it. They can give them reasons, they can give them arguments from Scripture, and if they will not yeeld to these, they are to be look­ed upon as stubborn and refractory, and to be compelled by out­ward force. This hath been the course generally throughout the Land of Babylon, But these shew hereby that they themselves are erred from the truth (and therefore very unfit and unlikely to teach it others:) For that which God works upon is the con­science, which he convinceth by the light of his Spirit, and no other light can truly convince it. That therefore which would have a man yeeld to any practise, or way of worship, till he be truly convinced, is of the Devil. My son, give me thy heart, saith Christ, the wisdom of God: Come not to me with oblati­ons and sactifices, but give me thy heart. My son, give me thy knee, give me thy obedience to the wayes I have set up, give me thy conformity, saith Antichrist, saith the adulterated wisdom: and if any refuse, she endeavours to compel them. Thus like Jeroboam the son of Nebat, she makes (that which she calls) Isra­el to sin: or like Nebuchadnezzar, she sets up an Idol, and cau­seth [Page 29] all her children to bow to it. Thus the load of the iniquity of multitudes lies upon that scarlet whore, who forces her cup of abominations and filthiness upon all she can, Rev: 17. 4. cau­sing all both smal and great, in all her Territories to receive her marke, and worship her Image. The work of the Minister of Christ, is to keep the conscience tender, that the voice of Christ may be heard, and the Law of his Spirit of life (which makes obedient to the God of life) spring up there: but this is the Image, here is the way, bow, conform say the Ministers of Anti­christ. But we are not convinced in the sight of God, that this is the way, say poor souls. It is your own fault, ye may be convin­if ye will, say the Ministers of Antichrist, we are ready to give you arguments and Scriptures to convince you, how is it ye are not convinced? Ye must be convinced otherwise, the Magistrate must deale with you. Thus they endeavour to harden the con­science, that they may set upon it and ride it, and terrifie it from it's subjection to it's only true and lawful King. O the havock that hath been made of souls by this means! the Lord is requiring it of this generation.

But let me ask this question to all the learned and wise, in all the Regions of Babylon, under what painted form or way of wor­ship soever. Can any worship God aright, before they be truly convinced of his will and way? can any be convinced without his light and Spirit? were it good and acceptable in the sight of God, for any persons to run into that way, whereof thou sayest thou art convinced that it is the way, before they themselves are convinced? If it be not good or acceptable, what is that that goes about to compel them? Away with thy carnal weapons; and if thou wilt draw to God, draw by that which is spiritual: but if thou wilt still be using outward force (running to the laws of men, and power of the Magistrate) the Lord hath opened an eye, which discovers thy nakednesse herein, and is able to make it manifest in the sight of all people, and thou shalt not long cover thy shame. The Lotds people shall be a willing people to follow him in the day of his power: but all the Lords people have been unwilling to follow thee in the day of thy power, which is neer an end; and the very fountain of thy deceit (and tyranny over the conscience) is opening and making manifest.

8. Persecution of such as she cannot compell to her worship. [Page 30] She sets up her form of knowledg, she sets up her way of worship, and those that will not be drawn to own the one, and practise the other, she sets her brand upon them for erroneous persons, Schis­maticks, Hereticks, they must not buy or sel, Rev: 13. 17. They must be banished or imprisoned, or perhaps put to death, for she is hardly satisfied, til she hath drunk the blood of those, who in any eminent degree are the witnesses of Christ against her, Rev: 17. 6. This was a thing wondered at by John with great admiration, to see this woman, this great City, out of which all the venomous darts are shor, against the Saints and Martyrs of Jesus, under a pretence of zeal for the Church and ordinances of Christ. For this is the engine, whereby the Dragon makes war with the true womans seed, (which keep the commandements of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ) even by this false woman which rides on the beast, by whose power and strength she overcomes the Saints. She sets up a way of doctrine, a way of worship in a Nation, and gets laws made for the defence of it, and against them that will not submit to it, and here she is too hard for the Saints, by this means she overcomes the Martyrs and Witnesses, and keeps the truth down, and keeps up her way of deceit, which without this prop would soon sall.

This whorish spirit scents the Spirit of the Lord, she knows it will soon be her death, if she cannot make it appear odious, and suppresse it: Therefore she hunts this spirit, she hunts the life and power of what she her self professes (especially if it appear vigorous and strong in any) she seeks advantages against the ser­vants of the living God, representing them to the earthly powers as persons of dangerous principles and bad practises, inventing all manner of what can be called evil against them, and spreading it among the people, that the truth may start up no where in the earth, but every where be knocked down by the violence of the multitude, or by the sword of the offended Magistrate. Now what is the matter of all this great noise and fury? Why this: A Lamb is risen up in the innocency, the pure harmless spirit is appea­ring in the earth, the true life. (which discovers the hypocrisie, and dead forms and wayes of the whorish spirit) is breaking forth: Therefore she makes a great out cry, awakpeople awak, the church is in danger, arise Magistrates, Magistracy and Ministry wil down, if this Lamb-like spirit be suffered. Nay, nay; These shall stand, [Page 31] but Babylon shall fall, and her mistery of iniquity be discovered, and her deceiveablenesse of unrighteousnesse made manifest; and the true life and Spirit shall arise and take possession of the hearts of people, and make them a clean and fit habitation for God: and people that are subject hereto, shall feel it and enjoy it, though the Merchants of Babylon say, men shall never be made cleane while they live, but must stil have a body of sin and death hang­ing about them. But how shall they put on Christ, who have not put off the body of sin? Shall those who are made Kings and Priests to God here on earth, minister in their filthy garments.

These are some of the sins of Babylon, that painted harlot, which is subtle in heart and lyes in wait to deceive, in the absence of the true Church, whose cloathing and resemblance she takes up and appears in.

And when she hath done all this, When (like Aegypt) she hath kept the seed in bondage in all her Territories and Domini­ons, in every Church she hath set up, and by all her Ministries and Ordinances: When (like Sodom) she hath filled the whole world with filthinesse, uncleanesse, and all manner of spiritual abominations: When (like old Jerusalem the bond-woman) she and her children have scoffed at the Spirit in every appea­rance, all the time of her reigne, and have trampled upon and domineered over them, who have but spoken of the coming of the just one in his people, sporting her self in her own deceivings: Yet, after all this, She wipes her mouth, and saith she hath done no harm: She hath been for the Gospel, and Church, and Ministry, and Ordinances, and the saith once delivered to the Saints, and only against deceivers, seducers, blasphemers, and hereticks. But the Spirit of the Lord cannot be thus deceived, nor shall the Na­tions be allwayes thus deceived, and suffer her to sit as a Queen upon their consciences, but she shall see sorrow, and they shall taste joy at the sound of the everlasting Gospel, when once again it cometh to their ears, Rev: 14. 6. & Chap: 19. 6, 7.

The judgement of Babylon.

BAbylon the great, this great City of abominations, which hath reigned over the whole earth, which hath bewitched all sorts of professors with the golden cup of her fornications, [Page 32] which hath subtilly led from the life, and held all sorts captive in the witchery of her deceit, and hath triumphed over the holy seed, making Sion their mother desolate, who sat in the dust, and was trampled upon by her. This great City, this glorious City, this rich City, this mighty powerful City, this Queen of the earth (which knows not what belongs to Sions misery, sor­row, poverty, and desolation) with Antichrist her King and hus­band (who hath cloathed himself with the garments of light, and appeared in the likenesse of the King of Sion, and hath long been so acknowledged and worshipped) is to be judged by the Spirit of life, which ariseth up out of the dust of Sion.

And though Babylon the great whore (who in all her transfor­mings hath still remained an enemy to the life) hath great pow­er and great wisdom, and can shift very subtilly to save her self by both; yet strong is the Lord God who judgeth her, and he also is wise, and she shall not escape his hand, but he will pursue her with his voices, with his thunderings, with his hail-stones, with his earth-quakes, with his woes, with his plagues, with his cups of in­dignation, till he hath made her manifest, till he hath broken her in peeces, till he hath crumbled and laid her in the dust, till he hath brought her down to the very pit, where the feet of Sion shall trample upon her for ever. Sing, sing O inhabitant of Sion, dost thou not behold the Crown of pride going down apace? The decree is sealed against her, she cannot escape; yea she is fallen, she is fallen, she is already taken in the snare, the eye of my life seeth it, and rejoyceth over her in the living power.

The plagues of God Allmighty, from the fiercenesse of his in­dignation, are visiting her whole Territories, and passing over all her Land. Nothing can help her to avoid his stroak, no paint will serve, no cover will hide, no profession, no practise, no duties, no ordinances, no Church, no Ministry can avail to conceal her, but that spirit is pursued by the Spirit of the Lord, and found out every where, and plagues are prepared and powring out upon her. Nay, though she leave all her forms, and pretend to wait and seek for the Lord, yet she is found out there also.

Now what is her judgement? Destruction and utter desolati­on from the hand of the Lord, to be an hissing and reproach throughout all generations, to be brought down (by powrings forth of the wrath and vengeance of the Allmighty) into the pit, [Page 33] and there to drink the fulnesse of his wrath for ever. Sion shal be exalted, Sion shall drink the cup of life, the cup of blessing, the cup of love, the cup of salvation for ever: but Babylon the cup of fury, the cup of indignation for ever and ever. Sion shall sing, but Babylon shall howl: and all that saw any beauty, or took any pleasure in her, shall mourn over her; Alas, alas, for her, she who hath so many ages gone for the Church, is now proved to be the whore; those who have been taken, in their several transformings, for the true Ministers, made manifest to be the false Prophets; their ordinances and duties, but thefts and imi­tations; things which they have stollen from what they read in the Scriptures, but never received from the hand of the Spirit.

The wrath of God, the dreadful cup of his fury and jealous in­dignation for the cause of Sion, is to goe over her whole Land. Over her Sea, and all the Ships that trade therein, and all her Merchants with all their precious traffique and merchandise. All her doctrins which she hath stollen out of the Scripture, all her disciplines, all her experiences, all her performances (even those which are most like the performances of former Saints;) nay though she may speak the very words of truth, yet as they come from her mouth, they shall be thrown by and judged, and be of no service or esteem in Sion. The preciousest of her ware shall be drosse and dung in the Land of life, where there shall be no Sea, nor no such kind of Merchants, traffique or trading for ever.

Her Earth also shall be made desolate, and burnt up, with all that is found therein: All her settlement shall be shaken, all her fruit-trees shall be rooted up, all her fruit shall wither, rot, dye, and perish. All her conversions of people to God (as she calls it) shall come to nothing: Yea, and if she have yet any more dresses, or secret coverings, wherein she would appear like the Church again, and bring forth again, yet she and her children shall immediately be discovered, her flesh burnt with fire, and her children dash'd against the stones. Every street in her City, every house and idol in every street, every room in every house, with every inhabitant, shall drink of the cup of astonishment, and stumble, and fal, and rise no more. Thou hast long triumphed over me, O mine enemy, because I have fallen, and have long sit in dark­nesse: [Page 34] but rejoyce no longer, for I shall rise again, and the Lord shall be a light unto me; but thou shalt rise no more, and thy light shall be put out for ever; glory to the meeke suffering-Lamb, even to him that sits upon the throne of life for ever.

Her Aire also shall be darkned. The Lord shall enlighten my darkness, but the light of Babylon shall be darkness for ever­more. The light of a candle shall be seen no more at all in thee. Many lights hath Babylon set up in the dark night, but the rising of the Sun of righteousness shall extinguish them all for ever, and Ba­bylon shall be shut up in utter darkness. Yea all that have retai­ned to Babylon, all that have walked by the light of any of her candles, that have cryed up any of her false ware for orthodoxe, that have given up their names to her under any of her dresses or appearances, or that have received any of her marks, they shall partake of her shame, of her misery, and of her torment from the hand of the Lord God. Yea her throne also shall be vi­sited, and the seat of Antichrist in every heart shall feele the wrath.

Rise up from the dust, and shout forth with joy, O captive daughter of Sion, who hast long dwelt under oppression, in the midst of the daughter of Babylon. Behold Babylons King shall be no longer judge over Sion, but thy King shall be judge, and he shall judge the King of Babylon. And let all the powers and potsheards of the earth strive to their utmost, yet, saith the Lord, have I set my King upon my holy hill of Sion, and he shal rule in my people, and rule over Babylon.

Therefore, O inhabitants of the earth, great and smal, learn meeknesse, learn righteousnesse, learn the fear of the Lord; Kiss the Son, harden not your selves against him, calling him a decei­ver, a blasphemer, a seducer, an heretick (for what ye do to the least that appear in his life, ye do to him:) but hearken to the word of his everlasting Gospel, which saith, FEAR GOD, AND GIVE GLORY TO HIM, FOR THE HOƲRE OF HIS JƲDGEMENT IS COME, and ye cannot escape his hand by that fear, which is taught by the precepts of men, or by traditional knowledge out of the Scriptures, nor while ye seek that honour which came out of the earth, and is of the earth, and to that which is earthly. Therefore let your hearts learne to know him, and your tongues to confefs [Page 35] him, and your knees to bow to him: which, if ye do, ye must for­get all that knowledge, and those confessions and bowings, which ye have learned in Babylon: for though ye may have confessed some true things, yet (having learned this in Babylon) ye have confessed falsly, even as the Jews who said, The Lord liveth, yet swore falsly, Jerem: 5. 2.

Now consider, ye Ministers of several sorts, and ye several sorts of professors: We may appear great enemies to you, be­cause we witness against your wayes, and tel you what the end of them will be; but are we enemies to you indeed, whose desire it is to save you from this great wrath, which hath already entred into the earth, and seized on some? Should we sooth you up, and not witness these things to you (which we infallibly know) how should we answer it to the Lord our God, or to your souls, when we shal appear before him? If we were in your condition, would we be content to be let go on, and to be overtaken with this great destruction? We cannot be silent. Ye must be silent, but we cannot. We know ye must be silent: for that which now speaks in you, hath been silenced in us, and is not to minister the things of God. But the Spirir of the Lord must not be quenched in us, no notwithstanding all our weaknes, but the treasure must is­sue forth from the earthen vessel, for the relief of the poor in spirit, who alone receive the Gospel. Therefore though ye hate us, though ye persecute us, though ye speak all manner of evil against us, and use us never so hardly; yet there is love roo­ted in our souls towards your souls, yea and towards your persons also: and having both felt the wrath, and tasted of the mercy, we cannot but warn you of the one, and invite you to the other (and O that ye might find a shelter under the shadow of his wings in the stormy season, when wrath shall be showred down without mercy!) And this we cannot but tel you, that the several wayes of Religion in the Christian world, are but so many seve­ral coverings; and that that which is covered with them is the whorish spirit, which the Spirit of the Lord is hunting, who wil strip her, and make her naked, and she shall appear to have been the whore under them all. Now that which lyeth beneath this Spirit in you, which is despised and trampled upon as a thing of nought, which is burthened and daily slain by your multitudes of Ordinances, professions and Religious practises, this is the [Page 36] heir of life; and by the raising up and living of this in you, may ye come to life, and no otherwise. And all Religion without this (even the most inward) is but the deceit of the whore, who makes a great shew of worship, and of zeal towards Christ, his Ordinances, and Ministry (as she cals them:) but by all these, and under all these holds the life in bondage, and strives by all means to slay the heir, that the inheritance might come to her son. But Cain the sacraficer, Ishmael the son of the bond-woman, Esau the hunter abroad after venison, the Jew full of profession, zeal, ordinances and worship, shall not inherit: but slain Abel shall be raised to life, Isaac (who was born of the dry and barren womb) shall have the promise, plain Jacob the blessing, the out­cast Gentile be sought out. Thus it shall be, can ye read it? yet it is the desire of our souls that a remnant of you may be saved, and now is the gathering. Therefore seek humility, seek poverry of spirit, seek the suffering seed, seek the meek, innocent, harm­lesse Dove-like nature, even the love which doth no il, nor thinks no il, for this is the Spirit which is to be gathered: but the high and lofty, the wise and knowing, the fat and strong, the rough and confident in their wisdom, and in their duties, Churches, or­dinances, &c. (which they have gathered, and stollen from the Scriptures, out of the life) are with all these to be rejected, and to be shut up in blindness and hardness of heart. Seeing they are to see, and not perceive, and hearing to hear, and not understand, lest they should be converted and healed. Yea it is this spirit, which is to fret under it's pain and torment from the woes and plagues, but cannot repent, but passeth on with Babylon to ruin and de­struction, Rev: 16. 9, 10, 11.

Babylon is become the habitation of Devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every uncleane and hateful bird. Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues, Rev: 18. ver: 2. & 4.

This is the cry concerning Babylon just upon her fal. Her iniquity is ful, her filth overflows, the pure seed is gathering out of her, and nothing but Devils, and foul spirits, and unclean and hate­ful birds remain in her. And the cal stil is to the people of God, from one remove to another, from one part of Babylon to ano­ther, to travel on and pass away stil, til they come quite out of it all. To come out of one part of Babylonish worship, that's not [Page 37] enough, or to come out of some peices of Babylonish knowledge and wisdom, will not answer the cal, but ye must come out of it all. Depart ye, depart ye, this is not your rest, for it is polluted. Stay not in any part of the uncleane Land, O child of the pure life: but be separate and touch not the unclean thing, if thou wilt have the holy one to receive thee. Not only the several dresses and forms of the whore are polluted, but her spirit also, and all her inward fabrick of Religion, out of which thou must also come, if ever thou be joyned to the pure life. Thy faith, thy hope, thy love, thy patience, thy joy, thy peace, thy justification, thy sanctification, thy mortification, thy ability to pray, to give thanks, to wait, &c. All must down, all must suffer loss, all must become dross and dung to thee, that thou mayest know the buil­ding of true life from and in the Spirit. For the Lord will not own any of these, nor receive thee with any of these which the whore hath touched, but if thou wilt have the pure life both with­in and without, thou must part with the corrupt life both within and without. (This is a faithful and true testimony, but who can receive it? will not both the houses of Israel be offended and stumble at it?) But if any of the people of God will abide stil in Babylon, and not hearken to every call of the Spirit of the Lord, to follow its guidance out of every part of her, they shall receive (from the impartial hand of the Lord) of her plagues, and shall have torment and sorrow proportionable to the glory and pleasure they have had with her. Therefore, if after one, two, three, or many removes out of some parts and practises of Baby­lon, the voice stil follow, crying, Come out of her my people (the spirit of Antichrist is yet among you, the wine of fornication from the pure life, is not yet purged out of you) do not stop your ears, thinking this belongs not to you, because ye have forsaken some paths which are Antichristian; but hear and follow, for it is your life, and your way to rest and peace in the Land of the living, and your sure preservation from anguish, perplexity and misery, in the houre of Babylons judgement and sore distresse.

Now there is one thing, which lies as a great block in the way, to hinder this testimony from entring into the hearts of those, to whom it is directed, or at least to weaken the spirits demonstra­tion of it to their consciences (for exceeding subtle is the who­rish [Page 38] spirit, to keep every one of her subjects from the sight, or suspition of her in themselves, and to darken every beam of light, whereby it pleaseth God to make any way for the discovery of her in them) which is this.

Object: But hath all our Religion for these many ages, been Babylonish, and whoredom from the life? all our Churches, all our Ordinances, all our dutyes, all our Ministry, &c? We can never be drawn to beleeve this. We are sure we have felt lively touches from God many a time, and enjoyed sweet communion with him in them. God hath often met us there, and refreshed our spirits, which he would not have done, had they not been of himselfe.

Answ: There hath been a simplicity and sincerity of heart, strring in some people towards God in all ages, even among the Heathen under all their Idols, and among the Jews in the midst of their great apostacy: which simplicity is of God, and accep­ted with him, notwithstanding all the load of filth that may hang round about it. Even in the midst of Egypt, or in the midst of Babylon, if Israel groans the Lord hears, and may return sweet answers to Israel, even there. When Israel was a child I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. The lowest breathings of true life towards God is the voice of his son, and enters into his ears from the darkest part of Egypt or Babylon.

Now in this Nation, the simplicity hath more stirred, then in other Nations; the seed of God in this Land, hath been excee­ding precious and dear to him. And at the beginning of these late troubles, the stirring of the simplicity from the pure seed, was more vigorous and lively, then it had been in many ages be­fore: and accordingly the answers of God to it were more fresh and sweet, and there was a tast of him, and fellowship with him, and sweet hopes and refreshments to the soul. Though the way of praying, preaching and worship (either publique or private) was not right before him; yet he over-looked that which his soul hated (winking at the time of ignorance and Antichristian darkness) and met with that which he loved. And if the sim­plicity had grown and thriven, communion with God (and life from him) would have increased, although the pure path of the Sanctuary had no yet been made manifest.

But this was it destroyed all, another thing got up under a co­ver, [Page 39] and the simplicity sunk, and so the life with-drew, and God hath grown strange to his people. He missed that which he loved and came to visit, he found that thrust upon him for his, which his soul cannot own or unite with, & so he became but as a wayfaring man, that turneth aside to tarry for a night, Jer: 14. 8. Enter into your hearts, O ye back-sliding children, is it not thus? You, who had sweet tasts of God is he not become a stranger to you? You that had sweet, fresh, lively breathings after God, are you not sit down in a form (or under some pleasing notions) and have got a covering, but lost the simplicity of your life, and the sweet tasts of God, and refreshments from him? Thus it hath been in all reformations: there was commonly a pure, single, naked begin­ning, but an evil thing soon got dominion over it, slaying the pure living stirring by the form which it raised up, under a pretence of preserving the life thereby, and of serving God more uniform­ly and acceptably therein. Ah the precious seed that was sown at the beginning of these troubles! What is become of it? how is every one turned aside from the pure life, into some Idol or other of his own heart! some into one way of worship, and some into another; some into one notion, and some into another; and all joyning together to keep the seed in bondage, endeavouring either to bring it back again to Egypt (to make it serve there) or to destroy and bury it in the wilder­ness. But the Lord hath visited his poor desolate seed, and hath been gathering it from all quarters, from amidst all empty forms, on the one hand, and all vain high notions on the other hand; and he will preserve it, overturning all his new enemies as wel as his old. This then is the sum of the Answer.

1. No way, or particular act of worship under the New Te­stament, is acceptable to God without his Spirit.

2. All invented or imitated wayes or acts of worship, to the performing whereof, the mooving, presence, and power of his Spirit is not necessary (but men can perform them without it) are Babylonish, and whoredome from that Spirit to which the true Christian is joyned, and in which all that he doth is performed.

3. Under this Antichristianism, under this whoredom (even in the Land of Babylon, where the true Israel is captive) a true simplicity and zeal towards God may sometimes be stirring.

4. When this at any time is stirring towards the Lord, the Lord pityes it, the Lord loves it, the Lord accepts it, When [Page 40] this cals, the Lord hears, and waits that he may be gracious, and return answers of grace to it.

5. Though the Lord accept of this in the midst of Babylon, and in the midst of the whorish wayes of worship that have been learned there, yet this doth not make Babylon, or her wayes of worship acceptable, nor are not to be made use of (nor cannot) by any that fears God to justifie them.

6. Where they are so made use of, and the Babylonish wayes and forms of worship cryed up (because of Gods visitations and tender mercy to his seed under them) God is provoked, his pre­sence with-drawn, life lost, and wrath prepared against those forms and wayes of worship, which will reach to the very bowels of those who are found there.

And let this word come home to your hearts, O ye that ever knew what belonged to sweet communion with God! If God was so tender to you in Babylon, when he stirred up in you a pure simplicity and zeal there, what would he have been to you, if ye had come out of Babylon? Ah, ye have lost the substance for a shadow, and that not a right shadow neither, but a shadow of your own forming! and now ye are angry with them, who will not also leave the substance to cry up your shadow. Ah enter into your secret chambers, and let shame cover your faces, ye who would propagate that apostacy from the Lord, which your own hearts have too far entred into, and are so deeply involved in. O that the eye were opened in you which can see it! Do not your hearts a little feel it? O mourn after the Lord, and mourn after the losse of that which once (in some measure in you) was true to the Lord. O that the lost sheep might be sought out, and that which hath been scattered (in the day of your loftines, and seeking do­minion and great things) might be gathered again to the Lord! for great is the wrath and severity that is towards you, and he is become exceeding jealous for his seeds sake; and judgement must begin with you, who cry out against Antichrist in one grosse fleshly by appearance, and yet are serving him your selves, some of you in other forms, some in Spirit.

This is a standing ttuth, What ever is not of the Spirit of God in Religion and worship: is of the spirit of Antichrist. What ever the spirit of man hath invented or imitated, is not the thing it selfe, is not the true worship: for the true worship is only and [Page 41] continually in the Spirit, and never out of the Spirit. The true praying is in the Spirit, the true singing in the Spirit, the true preaching in the Spirit: Whatsoever is out of it, is of Antichrist in man. Now therefore give up all your Religion, your knowledg, your worship, your practises which are out of the Spirit, and re­turn unto the Lord, and wait for his raising of that seed in you, which once began to spring, but is now slain, and lyes in death and captivity under all these, and the earthly part (wherein all this Religion and these practises stand) covers its blood, so as ye cannot see how ye have slaine, and dayly do slay the just one.

O the blood, the blood, the innocent blood that daily cryes to the Lord against you! How can the Lord accept any of your services, while your hands are ful of blood! while the pure sim­plicity is slain, the love grown cold, the life lost, and the whorish way and path (wherein and whereby it was lost) cryed up for the way of God. Shall not the Lord visit for these things? Shall not his soul be avenged on such a Nation as this? Yea his wrath is kindled, the fiercenesse of his wrath is kindled against the pro­fessors of this age, and wo is from the Lord towards them. Wo to the Protestant Congregations, wo to the select Churches, wo to their pastors, who have helped them to wander from the life to dead idols, which cannot profit: Wo to them who are exalted in notions and high knowledge: ye have judged and condemned the Papists, and the Lord hath found out the same spirit of idola­try in you! But turn from your Idols, return to your simplicity, put away your adulteries from between your breasts, and returne to your first love, and the Lord wil receive you, though ye have wandred after many lovers, and have been inflamed with the love of idols under every green tree: but in these your Church wayes and worships the soul of the Lord abhors you, and all your former zeal and simplicity is blotted out and forgotten, and in your present adultery and idolatry shall ye dye, unlesse ye hear the voice of the Lord recalling you, and turn at his reproofe.

Now in tender bowels to help you a little, consider that which follows.

The same spirit that stealeth away the true simplicity, raiseth up and stealeth in a false image thereof, which there is no per­ceiving [Page 42] at present, unlesse the soule lye very low, and be kept open and cleer in the pure light.

And as in the true simplicity, the true light, the true knowledg, the true faith, the true hope, the true love, the true meekness, the true zeal, the true poverty and humility, &c. springs up and is nourished: so in the false image of simplicity (which the De­vil secretly conveys in, when he steals away the true) there's a likeness of all these springing up and growing.

And here's the beginning of Babylon in the heart, here are the inward riches and treasures thereof. What can Sion pretend to, which Babylon hath not in the resemblance? Is there simplicity of heart in Sion? and is there not simplicity of heart among the inhabitants of Babylon? yea; a false image. Is there light in Sion? and is there no [...] also light in Babylon? yea there's the light of the Sun, and the light of the Moon, and the light of the Stars which fel from heaven, and the light of many candles shining in Babylon. Is there true knowledge in Sion? There's knowledge fasiy so called in Babylon: a false knowledge of the Crosse of Christ, a false knowledge of his death, a false know­ledge of his blood, without feeling the living vertue thereof, which truly washeth away the sin. So for faith, hope, love, meek­ness, zeal, humility, &c. There are false images of all these in Babylon, and of what ever else is wrought in truth in the inhabi­tants of Sion.

Now when the truth is lost, and the false image crept in (both which are done at unawares, while the husbandman is asleepe; and so he perceives it not, but thinks in his very heart that it is stil the seed of truth that is growing up in him) then begins the mistery of fornication, idolatry, witchcraft, and all manner of spi­ritual wickedness and deceit to work in the heart. Thy beleeving, thy hoping, thy love, thy zeal, thy praying, thy waiting, &c. All here is abomination, it's from a false root, it's of a false kind: it is not of the true seed; the enemy hath stollen away that, while thou wast negligent and slumbering, and all this ariseth in thee from the seed which he did sow instead thereof, and is the fruit of the Land of Babylon.

And having thus committed inward whoredome in thine own heart, then thou seekest and settest up outward wayes of whore­dom also. Having first set up an inward image of the inward life [Page 43] of the Saints, thou then seekest and settest up another image of their outward worship, an image of a Church, an image of a Mi­nistry, an image of Ordinances, an image of praying, an image of singing, an image of preaching, an image of baptism, an image of the Saints communion. And thus thou art defiled within and without, and art mad with envy and rage that thou canst not be­witch the inhabitants of Sion (who are kept pure from all these defilements, and reserved as witnesses against thee) into thy bed of whoredoms. And thus while thou thinkest thou art the chiefe worshipper, thou art all over polluted, the whole head is sicke, and the whole heart faint, there isno cleanness, no soundnesse within or without, but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores, which have not been closed, neither bound up, nor mollified with oyl: but the hurt of the daughter of my people hath been healed deceitfully, by Physitians of no vallue, who had notthe oyl. (Isa: 1. 5, 6. & Ezek: 13. 10.)

This is generally the state of professors at this day, but they cannot see it: for they have put out the eye of the simplicity (wherewith alone God will suffer the things of life to be seen) and God hath blinded the eye of their wisdom, that they shall not see, nor be converted and healed that way. So that exceeding miserable is their estate: They will not see Gods way, and God will not let them see their way. So that though there be line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little; yet it is that they might stumble, and fall, and be snared, and broken, and taken: For as discoveries of truth grow more cleer and manifest; so they grow more hardned against it. And as they, on the one hand, increase in walking contrary to God; so God on the other hand, proceeds in walking contrary to them, delighting more and more to stumble the wise disputing part, which would so fain know, but must be made blind, that the eye of the babe may be opened, which sees that in the childish simplicity, which the other eye can never reach in the most manly wisdom.

Therefore put away all your images and likenesses of truth: Put away your false faith (which can never overcome the worldly nature and spirit in you) and your false hope (which can never purifie your hearts) and your fained humility and self-willed fasts (which can never bring down the lofty exalted nature in you) and your false love (wherewith ye can never love the brethren in the [Page 44] truth, but only the brethren in your own, or some such other like­nesse of the truth) and your false zeal, meekness, holinesse, &c. All which spring and grow up from the wrong seed, in a seeming simplicity; and all your praying, reading, preaching, &c. which ye have taken up and practise in your own wils, which should be crucified, and wherewith no service, worship, or performance can be pleasing to God: and wait for the raising of the true seed of life in the true simplicity, whereby ye may serve God accep­tably here, and be saved hereafter. And be not mockers, lest your bands be made strong, for the consumption is determined against you by that Spirit of life, whose breath wil wast you: All flesh is grass, and the glory thereof as the flower of the field! Sure­ly this people is grasse, and their zeal, and profession of God, like the fading flower.

Some plain Queryes, drawn out of the Book of the Revel: for all sorts of Professors of this age, to answer between God & their own souls, that they may see whether they have received that light from him, which his Spirit judged necessary to give forth, to keep people chast to him, & to pre­serve them from the several painted beds of Anti­christs fornications and whoredoms from the life.

‘Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophesie, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand,’Rev: 1. 3.

The time of deceit was then at hand for Antichrist (with his false Church, and false Prophets) to get up, which were to last til the houre of judgement, Rev: 14. 7, 8. Hast thou read? hast thou heard? hast thou kept the things written in this book? then happy art thou? But hast thou not read in the Spirit? hast thou not heard the true sound of these things from the Spirit of life? hast thou not kept the things written therein? Then thou hast been deceived with the mistery of iniquity, and must smart with the whore in the hour of her judgement.

[Page 45] The Queryes are these which follow.

I. What woman was that which was cloathed with the Sun, and had the Moon under her feet &c? Rev: 12. 1. Whether it was the true Church or no?

II. What that wilderness was whereinto she fled, where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there 1260 dayes? vers: 6.

III. How long those 1260 dayes did last? and whether they he yet expired? and whether the true Church is any where else to befound all the time of the 1260 days, but in that place in the wilderness?

IV. What are all the Churches, the Ministry, the Ordinances that appear out of the wilderness all this while, while the true Church is there?

V. What was that beast which came out of the Sea; to which the Dragon gave his power, his seat, and great authority? which all the world worshipped, Rev: 13. ver: 1. to 5.

VI. What is that Sea and those ships, wherein & wherewith the Merchants of the earth traded with Babylon, and were maderich by their traffique? what were those Merchants? what their Merchan­dize? and what kind of riches was this? Rev: 18. ver: 15. to 20.

VII. What was that name of God, and that Tabernacle, and those inhabitants of heaven, which was blasphemed, by the beast that arose out of the Sea, all the time of the 42 Moneths, Rev: 13. vers: 5, 6.

VIII. What is the Lambs book of life? and where is it? and how are the names of any so written in it, as to preserve them from the worship of the beast? Rev: 13. 8.

IX. What is that beast that came up out of the earth, with the horns of a Lamb (as if it came up in the Lambs power) which doth great wonders, and iustifieth his sacrifice by making fire come down from heaven in the sight of men; who both causeth men to make an Image to the first beast, and also putteth life into the Image which men make? Rev: 13. ver: 11. &c. So that here's not a meer dead Image, but there's life in the beasts knowledge, ordinances and worship: yet with God all this is dead, for it is not the true life.

X. What is the beasts mark, his name, his number? (Rev: 13. 17.) For if I do not infallibly know this, I may have receved his mark, I may help to make up his name, I may be of his number, and be [Page 46] (unknown to my selfe) a worshipper of him and his Image, and so be liable to partake of the torment of the fire and brimstone threatned to such; Rev: 14. 9, 10.

XI. What is that song, which none could learn but the 144 thousand, which were not defiled with women, but remained Virgins? Rev: 14. 3.

XII. What was that other woman, which took and kept the place of the former woman (after she had fled into the wildernesse) and enlarged her territories in Nations Kindreds tonguus and peo­ples? Rev: 17. 4. & ver: 15.

XIII. What was the purple and scarlet colours, and the gold and precious stones she was decked with? ver: 4.

XIV. What was the golden cup she had in her hand, which was ful of abominations, and filthinesse of her fornications, in the midst of all her glorious appearance of zeal, devotion, humility, and holi­nesse? ver: 4.

XV. What kind of drunkenness was it, wherewith the Kings and inhabiters of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of this cup? Rev: 17. 2.

XVI. How may th [...]se who have hated the whore, and made her desolate and naked, and cat her flesh, and burned her with sire, yet after all this, give their kingdom again to the beast? Rev: 17. v: 16, 17. How may this be done? and how often may it be done?

These are plain simple Queryes, not to intangle mens minds, or set their brains on work (for that way shall they never be able to resolve them) but to awaken the simplicity in them, which will readily let them see what the Lord hath revealed to them herein and in which they are to wait for the knowledge hereof, that they may escape or come out of the snare. And in the mean time not to boast, as Israel of old did (when the Prophets from the mouth of the Lord accused them) that they had not polluted themselves, they had not gone after Baalim: (Jer: 2. 22, 23 & v: 35.) but wait O backsliding Christian, and thou shalt see thy way in the valley. And though thou hast of [...]en traversed thy ground to change thy path, gadding from one form to another, from one notion to another; yet all this hath been out of the life, out of the pure power, and stil in the whoredom. Open the weak sick eye in the weak heart (For how weak is thy heart, while thou hast done all this) and let the languishing simplicity be my witnesse: [Page 47] for (under all thy wisdom, thy zeal, thy knowledge, thy worship) that faints, that fails, that is not what it was in the beginning. Though thou art grown much higher, wiser, and greater other­wise, yet there thou hast lost: and happy wilt thou be, if all thy gains ever since, may become losse to thee for the recovering of this.

Some considerations, helping out of the Suburbs or out-skirts of Babylon, that her inward building may be the better come at, and lye the more open to the Axe and Hammer, which is to batter it down, and to cut it up for the fire.

FIrst, Consider what it was the Church fled out of, when she fled into the wildernesse. Was it not out of that Church-state or building, which the Spirit of God had raised up for her here in the world, to which her ordinances and way of Church­worship belonged? Was it not here that the Dragon assaulted her, and from whence she fled into a desolate place and state?

Secondly, What spirit entred into these, when she fled out of them? Were not these the Conquerors spoils? did not An­tichrist get possession of the form? did not the whore get the Spouses attire? did not the Wolves gather up the sheeps cloa­thing, and cloath themselves therewith? Was not the outward Court (what is the outward Court under the Gospel, but the visible Church-state with the visible Ordinances thereof?) given to the Gentiles, who trod under foot the holy City, all the while they were worshipping in the outward Court? Rev: 11. 2.

Thirdly, What spirit is it directs men to these, since the true Church hath been fled out of them? and to what intent? Is it not that spirit which would keep men from the life, that they might not be born of the barren womb in the wildernesse, but be born of some of the fruitful wombs of the visible Churches, while the true Church is invisible, and hath no visible place in the earth, but remains in that place in the wildernesse which God prepared for her, and where she receiveth her food all the 42 Months? Rev: 12. ver: 6. & 14.

I have smarted deeply for these things, and have been taught by the bryars and thorns of the wildernesse, whereby my ears came to be opened, to hear the sound of the everlasting Gospel, to which they were before through ignorance stopped. For I also [Page 48] did beleeve and expect great things in a Church state and way of worship; and in simplicity of heart did I enter into it, and walke in it, and was not without knowledge, warmth and experiences there. But all this the Lord broke down by a strong hand in one moment, and hath taught me since to throw away all my gains here and elsewhere, and to count them but drosse and dung, for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord. And having tasted, having seen, having felt, having handled, I cannot but commend the life, and disswade all men from all knowledge, all worship, all Religion, all wayes and practises (though never so taking, pleasant, and promising) out of the life. And this is to know Christ, namely, to know the life: and this is to obey Christ, to obey the life: and this is the kingdom of Christ which is to come, to have the life reign in power and great glory. But the knowing or beleeving of an History concerning Christ, this is not the knowledge or the faith: Antichrist all along the apostacy, in all his various forms and dresses, hath known and beleeved thus: and this kind of knowledge must passe away, further then it can find a place and service in the life. Be not angry at my testimo­ny, it flows from pure love, and comes forth in great good will to your souls.

Yea if it be possible that I might be a little serviceable to you (for my soul travels for the redemption of professors from the witchery of the whorish spirit, even of such as are ready to revile that which alone can redeem them) in the meekness and coolness of your spirits, out of the fiery false zeal, consider yet a little further these few things following.

1. The state of the Gospel is an invisible state, a state consist­ing of invisible things (as the Law was a visible state, or a state consisting of visible things) The light invisible, the life invisible, the power invisible, that which converts invisible, that which is converted invisible, that which it is converted to invisible, and the whole course ofspiritual life lyes in the invisible.

2. This invisible state hath a visible way of appearance to the world, by garments which it wears, by motions and exercises which the life chooseth for itto appear in.

3. These garments are subject to corrupt, and to be worn by that which is corruptible and corrupted. That which hath not the life, may put on the garment; and that which hath lost the life, may stil keep the garment.

[Page 49] 4. The preservation of the life lyes not in the garment, or in the observation of any thing wherein the life did once appeare; but the preservation of the garment lyes in the life. And the life may change it's garment at it's pleasure, and may refuse to wear those any more, which the whore hath worn, but as the life again leadeth.

5. When the life is at any time lost, the only way of recovery, is by retiring to the invisible, and keeping there, and growing up there, and not coming forth in the visible further then the life leads, nor staying there any longer then the life stayes.

Now this is the mistake of persons generally, they look for the finding the invisible life in visibles. They run to corrupted or­dinances and wayes of devotion, and think to find God there; but do not wait to feel him in their hearts, and to be led by him into what he pleaseth: and to stay no where any longer, then while he stayeth there, but to follow the Lamb wheresoever he goeth.

Some others mistake in running to that, and waiting there where they once felt life, but do not know the way to wait on the life it selfe: and so they are running to an image, waiting at an image, worshipping of an image, and the living God will not meet them there. But throw away your images, let Ephraim the dear child say to his idols get you hence, thrust away your adul­teries which provoke the eye of Gods jealousie, receive the fore­runner (the severe purifyer) into your bosoms, and let the fire of his jealousie cleanse your hearts, and the pure will soon come after, and lodge again between your breasts: Can ye hear this sound? That which is born of the same wisdome, cannot but hear it: but the other birth must have it's ear stopped.

Now hearken to this advice. When the invisible life is felt and known, doe not disdain to follow it into what ever visible thing it leads. Let not thy wisdom be judge what the life will lead into, or what the life is to be followed in; but let the life it selfe be judge: and let the child, which is born of the life, follow it singly without murmuring, without disputing. The life hath foolish wayes (to the eye of thy wisdom) of breaking the wisdom in thee which is contrary to it, which thy wisdom will be reasoning and disputing against, and if that wisdom be heark­ned to, the life is overturned in its course, and the head of the [Page 50] Serpent remains sound in thee, which the foolish and weak things (which the wisdom of God chooseth to crosse and disturb it by) would help to break and crush.

An Exhortation to the present Powers.

BAbylon the great, the mistery of iniquity, which hath decei­ved and held captive the whole Christian world, for these many generations, under forms and appearances of Godliness and devotion, is at length come into remembrance before God, who is arisen to judge her, and overturn her seat. The Army hath been preparing, and many Souldiers have been drawn forth, the trumpet hath sounded, the battel is begun, and blood hath been shed on both sides; the blood of the creature on the one side, the blood of the whorish spirit on the other side.

The whore (with the power of the beast on which she rides, and by whose strength and assistance she makes war with the Lamb) is mighty and dreadful; and it hath long been said, Who is able to make war with the beast? (whose strength is hers.) But the Lord God (who hath arisen out of his holy habitation to judge, and hath begun to judge her) is more mighty, by whose arm & strength she shal fal, & the beast shall not be able to carry her up and down any longer, nay nor to uphold her in her seat of government over the consciences of men.

Be wise now therefore, and consider the present state of things: and if ye find not hearts to help the Lord against the mighty, yet take heed of helping the mighty against the Lord. The vessels, wherein the life arises and appears, are poor and very contemptible, and ye may easily trample upon them: but the life which riseth up in them, is very precious, and too strong for the powers either of earth or of hel. The Lord did not appear formerly among you, or of late begin to raise you up again, that ye should become enemies to him, or aiders of his enemies against him, but that ye might let his seed go forth to worship him in the wildernesse: (for in this dark Land of Egypt they can­not.) Therefore break the yoaks, and take off the burdens, an [...]er there be no new snares laid, but leave the conscience (where the Lord chooseth to appear, & which he delights to draw out of the world to himselfe) free to the Lord.

The Lord hath kindled, and is kindling the fire, with which he [Page 51] is burning, and wil burn the flesh of the whore. Come not neer to help her, lest ye feel the flames. Stand afarre off, and see her burning, and at most pity her, but help her not.

We fight not against the flesh and blood of creatures, but a­gainst that evil spirit which captivates, and makes them miserable: nor do we fight with carnal weapons, but with such weapons as are able to reach that Spirit. Now if ye interpose with your car­nal weapons, and smite the vessel which the Lord is pleased to make use of in this warfare, his hand will be upon you: yea if ye endeavour to bear off the stroak from the whore, it will light upon your selves, and the Lords hand (and his stroaks in this day of his jealousie and vengeance) is very heavy.

Do what ye can, ye shall not be able to hinder the Lords victo­ry (who will overcome, even by this very people, whom the wise of all sorts despise:) all that ye can doe in taking part with the enemy, is but to bring wounds and judgements upon your selves, and to shorten the dayes of your government: but the worke of the Lord will go on and prosper; and this painted harlot (which pretends to be the Spouse of Christ, and has deckt her self so pleasingly with her stollen knowledge of Scriptures, and layes claim to his Ministry and Ordinances) shall be stripped naked, and her shame seen, and every child in the life shall be able to point at her, and the song of triumph over the Dragon, the beast, the false Churches, and all the false Prophets (who are not made, nor prophesie not by the anointing) shall be sung in righteousnes, even to the Lamb who dayly getteth, and will get perfect victo­ry: for to him it is given, over all his enemies.

A Postcript.

THe redemption of the soul is by the Spirit of the Lord, which he that would enjoy from it, must know its appearance and operation in himself, and not quench or limit it, but universally be subject to its guidance and leadings. All mans inward misery arises from mans inward rebellion, which is as the sin of witch­craft (springing from the spirit of witchcraft:) his recovery and happiness is in the faith and in the obedience to the pure power, movings, and operations of the Spirit in him.

The Lord God who made all mankind, who is the Lord of all, he is redeeming a people to himselfe by his Spirit. And this [Page] Spirit will not be limited by the powers of the earth, but will break Nations in pieces, and trample upon Princes as Mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay, til it hath made its way through them.

O open the eye, the inward eye, which can discern the seasons! It is not now the time for Antichrist to prevail, or for proud flesh to rise up in its heady will to stop the outgoings of its maker. This season is past; and the season of the prevailing of the life, and power of the Son of righteousnesse is now come.

Therefore lift up your heads, O ye weak and faint of the flock, for iniquity and oppression must fall both within and without, and the tender God of everlasting love will turn back the captivity of his people, and of his creatures. Be not therefore affrighted at the inward power of sin in the heart, nor at the outward oppres­sing powers of the earth: for the redeemers strength is above all, and he is stretching forth his mighty arm to save: in the true, and living faith of the elect it is felt, it is felt.

And O ye potsheards of the earth, strive not with your maker, limit him not, for he wil assuredly break through you. Think not to subject him to your Laws, but learn his Law, come under his yoake, and be bound by him, that ye may tast of his liberty. Wash your lips, and kisse the Son, and be not angry at his, various appearances so contrary to your wisdome, but fear his dreadful name, and his threshing instrument which hath teeth, and seek an hiding place under the shadow of his wings, against the sharp season of the breaking forth of his wrath, and jealous indignati­on for the cause of Sion which hastneth apace.

He hath long let the Spirit of Babylon have its liberty, and his hath been silent: now is the time for his Spirit to speak, and for Babylous to be silent. Wil ye stil force him to silence, and open Babylons mouth? Will ye not suffer him to speak, but according to the Laws and orders of Babylon? Must that counterfeit Queen stil sit on the Throne among you, and the true Princesse be made her servant? O let it not be grievous to you, to see the Spirit of the Lord arise, and make Babylon appear Babylon! Her wisdom, her knowledge, her unity, her uniformity, her order, her come­linesse, her beauty, is but folly, confusion, disorder and deformi­ty before the Lord. happy is the eye that sees it, and the foot that turns from her.

[Page] Therefore awake, arise and stand up from the dead, come out of the thick dark Land, where the pure God of life is not to be found: Come out of Babylon, and touch not the unclean, that the pure life may receive you into unity with it selfe: but the spirit that is unpurged from its Babylonish worships and practises, the Lord will not suffer to come neer him. Therefore search what is Babylon, and of Babylon in all your wayes and worships; and wait on the Spirit of the Lord to be redeemed out of it, and se­parated from it, or ye must remain separated from the Lord, and not partake of his life and vertue, from which that City (with all her inhabitants) is shut out for ever.

The Lord hath had a sore controversie with this Nation (with her Rulers, her teachers and people) for his seeds sake, which he hath been begetting to himself, and calling forth to worship him (according to the pure Law of his spirit of life) out of the wayes, worships, and Heathenish customs of the earthly spirit.

Israel is his first born, whom he will not have any longer kept in bondage. They are his own, of his own begetting and forming, of his own nourishing and bringing up, the plants of his own right hand, whom he watereth with the dews of Heaven, and with the showrs of his everlasting mercy and loving kindness; whom he hath gathered by the arm of his power, and whom he leadeth and defendeth by his cloud and pillar of fire, over whom he is tender as of the apple of his eye. They are his anointed ones, whom he will not have touched, but rebuketh Kings and Parli­aments, Armyes and Councils for their sakes, saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my Prophets no harm.

Have ye not seen, how no strength nor Council hath been able to prevail against them? They have had no fence, but the arm which hath gathered them. What plottings and contrivings hath there been against them? How are they as sheep appointed for the slanghter, destinated to be devoured, crushed, and trodden under foot? what divinations and inchantments have been used against them, even to blot out their name and remembrance from the earth?

But why do ye strive and contend thus with the God of Ja­cob? can ye prosper? He that made the earth, will not ye let him have room therein for his people? Must they be subject to your wils? Must they bow to your image? shall not the God [Page] of the spirits of all flesh, have the command of the spirits of his own people? can ye stop the Spirit of God from breathing upon them? or will ye fal foul upon them, if they be obedient to the breathings and movings of his Spirit? May it not suffice that they are innocent, and harmless among you in their conversations and practises, but will ye still Lord it over their consciences? will ye put the Lord to it to the very last, to try it out with you, whe­ther he can defend his people and make way for their liberty?

Wel, If peace be taken from you, if your rulers, laws, and governments be broken in peices, if his hand be stretched forth against you, if he curse your very blessings, whom can ye blame? Why do you provoke him against your own souls? are ye stronger then he? If ye be stronger and wiser, ye may prevail: but if he be stronger, and will put forth his arm, his people shall be saved and find a shelter in him, in the midst of all that wrath which is powring down upon you. Your peace hath been length­ned out for their sakes, If it had not been for their sakes (for the remnant which the Lord hath had to gather) ye had ere this been as Sodom, and like unto Gomorrah. The Land is ful of filthinesse, which the Lords soul loaths; and instead of drawing forth the sword against it, ye draw it forth against his witnesses. There is liberty enough for sin and vanity, for excess and riotousnesse, for images and idols: but to worship God in Spirit, to obey his pure movings, this kindles your rage, and these are the people who are a burthen to you. Ah how fain would ye ease you of this peo­ple! (Sion is indeed a burthensome stone, and will fall heavy on all that meddle with her) But the Lord will ease himselfe of the adversaries of his life and Spirit, and he will bring forth his righ­teousness which he hath prepared, and set it up in the earth, and none shall be able to stop him. Therefore gather your selves together in battel; associate your selves, that ye may be broken in peices; take council together, it shall come to nought; speak the word, it shall not stand: but the Lords council shall stand, and he will fulfil all his pleasure, and will delight himselfe in his people, and raise them up by the fall of their enemies: and then ye shall see against whom ye have plotted and contended, and what ye have helped to bring about by all your secret plots and designs If the Lord had not been on our side, now may Israel say: if the Lord had not been on our side, what had become of his poor [Page] people! Ah poor worm Jacob, how often would the foot of pride have trampled thee down (again and again) had not the ever­lasting arm been stretched out for thee! But fear not worm Jacob, nor be not sollicitous for thy preservation, but trust that arm which delighteth to preserve thee.

Ah foolish people and unwise! who strive against your own mercy, who see not upon what hinge all your mercies hang, but make it your work to break down the Wall that defends you.

Jerusalem is the City of the great King, which is coming down from heaven, and Israel is his people, and both must have a place in the earth: the Lord hath determined it, and who can withstand it? what prejudice can Jerusalem, or the inhabitants thereof bring unto you? They are enemies indeed to this earth­ly state of things, and would have all brought in subjection to the life and power of their King, and all that stands in oppositi­on to God brought down, and made pliable to his spirit; and this the unyoked earthly spirit cannot bear. But this is the in­terest of your souls, and the way to unity with that life which is their happiness, peace, and rest for ever: for if ye could pass through the fire, and bear the burning up of your dross, ye al­so might become vessels for the Finer, and might dwell with them in their everlasting habitation.

The Saints formerly had an entrance ministred to them into the everlasting Kingdom, and came to mount Sion which cannot be removed, and to Jerusalem the City of the living God, Heb. 12. 22. where the blood of sprinkling, the peace that passeth understanding, the everlasting righteousness, and the joy un­speakable and full of glory was witnessed in the renewed spirit, which receiveth the Kingdom which cannot be shaken, and en­treth into the everlasting rest.

And this is again revealed, and the [...]nesses shall ascend in­to heaven in the sight of their enemies, even into the new hea­ven and the new earth where righteousness dwells, and the old heaven and old earth (withal its inhabitants) shall be burnt up: and then shall it be seen that righteousness becomes, and belongs to the house of God for ever. And his City shall be a quiet ha­bitation, free from all the noise and hurry of Babylon; where the pure river of life runs clear, free from all the mud and mix­tures of Babylon; and the Lord God of infinite fulness will not [Page] disdain communion with his creatures, but will tabernacle among them, dwell with them, sup with them, walk in them, and take them into his holy habitation, and they shall dwell with him, sup with him, and walk in him.

But who shall abide in his tabetnacle? who shall dwell in his holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteous­ness, and speaketh the truth in? his heart, &c. he who contemns the vile person (how great and high soever) but honoreth them that fear the Lord, be they otherwise what they will. This man shall dwell on high, above the reach of all low, creeping, dark spirits, even in that holy habitation of life and power, which no­thing can touch or annoy.

I shall now conclude with a few words concerning the present estate of this poor distracted Nation.

This Nation hath long lain wounded and sick: She hath had many Phy­sicians (on whom she hath spent much) who have promised her fair, but have not effected her cure. Of late her wound hath been much enlarg­ed, yea she is become sick at her very heart, and in great danger. Many are spending their judgement upon her, some thinking a King would help all, some a Parliament, and some hoping for good from the Army; but e­very eye sees her case to be very desperate. Ah England, England, Thou strivest with thy Maker, and he overturns thy strength and councils. The life and wisdom which thou despisest, is that which alone can heal thee. Thou strivest to keep off the strokes from the enemies of God, and smitest his dear ones, how can he spare thee? Hand stils joyn in hand to keep the Lords stroke from reaching Babylon, which he hath directed at her heart, and will not miss her, but will peirce through every thing that stands in his way. Though the cry hath long been, Hurt not the tender conscience, it is that on which God works, and wherein he chuseth to appear, and with which he is pleased, and pitties. Many promises have been touching li­berty of conscience, yet still the meek of the earth, the innocent lambs of Christ (those that are faithful to the light of God in their consciences) are persecuted and suffer. What canst thou plead, O England, why the Lord should not break thee all in peices, and save his people himself, by and in the midst of thy ruins. The Lord will have the victory over thee in this particular, about which he hath so long striven with thee. It would be bet­ter and easier for thee to yield unto, then be forced by his hand. Therefore at length hear his voice, which hath so osten and so loud cryed unto thee. Let my people go, that they may serve me.

The End.

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